Our NBA insiders are debating the biggest topics in the league. Is it too early to start looking at Bradley Beal as someone Washington should look to move?
Howard Beck: A Bradley Beal-Kristaps Porzingis duo is not getting you anywhere really. At best they’re a first-round-and-out team. So where are they?
So when you ask, should they trade Beal? Of course they should trade Beal, except he’s now got this no-trade clause that they shouldn’t have given him and which complicates any deal.
Now their point has been all along: Listen, if we get to the point where we’re gonna trade Beal, it’s gonna be in concert with him anyway. We’re not gonna trade him somewhere where he doesn’t want to go. He’s been too great to this franchise, in the city.
Chris Mannix: Which is ludicrous. Bradley Beal is a good guy and a really good player, but he’s not LeBron James. And he’s not like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce. He’s not a guy you work with to make sure he’s happy with a deal.
If you’re the Washington Wizards, you gotta be happy with the deal. I mean, Howard, look at this roster. You’re not winning anything with this roster. Their ceiling to me, ceiling, is play-in. That to me is the team that they are. You look at the depth chart with this group. The future of this team is Deni Avdija. The future of this team is Rui Hachimura. The future of this team is Johnny Davis, who is their first-round pick this past year. Like those guys are the future of this team. What are they gonna do next summer if they play this out? Kyle Kuzma’s gonna opt out of his contract. You gonna pay Kyle Kuzma to come back to be part of … whatever?
You’re in a position right now if you’re Washington, where, because, as you wrote so well on si.com, there’s so much parity in the NBA, if you’re putting guys on the block, you’re gonna have competition for teams that want to get him. So you put Kyle Kuzma out there, even in what’s effectively the last year of his contract. There’d be teams willing to give up first-round draft capital for Kyle Kuzma, I would think. You put Bradley Beal on the block. You’re gonna get a lot of teams interested with multiple first-round picks and young players. I look at the teams out in California. Golden State, would they get interested in Bradley Beal? The Lakers, they’re interested in everybody. That might be the player that they attach those two unprotected first-round picks to. If you’re Washington and that comes to fruition, you gotta jump at that.
The Wizards were a nice story to start the season. They were playing well. They were above 500. They looked good, but they have come crashing back down to Earth. Some of that has to do with Beal being hurt in and out of the lineup. I get that. But this is just a very average team, and I don’t see the pathway through organic growth or offseason acquisitions to get this Bradley Beal-led team into a better place.