Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards came to a notable agreement this past week.
Ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, all parties involved decided that if the organization opts to blow the roster up in favor of starting anew, the front office would work on a trade for their superstar.
Obviously this has seismic implications for the rest of the league. A number of title contenders feel like they are one tremendous scorer away from winning a championship, and Beal definitely fits that bill to a tee.
Unlike the teams interested in a Zion Williamson trade, everyone in the hunt for Beal has a legit shot at winning a chip.
At the moment, four teams look like the likeliest candidates for Beal’s services.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Miami Heat are “prominent suitors” for Beal and the Milwaukee Bucks are “potential suitors” for the talented 29-year-old.
“Expect the Miami Heat to emerge as significant suitors for Bradley Beal… I’m told another team looming as a potential suitor…the Milwaukee Bucks.”
— Stadium (@Stadium) June 14, 2023
As noted by Bobby Marks of ESPN, a Miami deal for Beal would likely be structured around some combination of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and a 2028 protected top-10 pick.
In the case of Milwaukee, it’s difficult to see a trade happening unless a third team is involved. The two best players that the Bucks would even consider giving up, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, are both older than Beal and don’t make sense for a rebuilding operation.
If not Miami or Milwaukee, the New York Knicks are another team to keep an eye on.
According to NBA insider Ian Begley, the Knicks “internally discussed Bradley Beal during the season as a trade option for this summer.”
While on paper it may seem like New York doesn’t have enough trade capital for Beal, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently made the case that the asking price for him may not be as high as everyone thinks.
“I’m going to tell you if Bradley Beal gets traded between now and next Thursday, I think people are going to be very surprised at the price, and how potentially low it’s going to be,” Windhorst said.
“… I suspect if he gets traded, it would be for a fraction of that [what (Donovan) Mitchell and (Rudy) Gobert were traded for].”
For that reason, the Los Angeles Lakers are also worth monitoring on the Beal front. This team desperately needed another scoring punch in the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets.
Beal could be that next year.
If the Wizards are looking to salary dump a guy who they owe more than $200 million to over the next four years, L.A. could offer D’Angelo Russell (pending a sign-and-trade), Malik Beasley and his $16.5 million option, Mo Bamba, Jarred Vanderbilt, this year’s 17th overall draft pick and then an assortment of other minor draft capital
Beal has been linked to the Lakers quite intensely in the past. He would be a fantastic fit on the roster. That said, Los Angeles is one of three teams in the hunt for Fred VanVleet and one of three squads eyeing Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks.
Who they will opt to pursue remains to be seen.
One way or another, Beal will almost certainly be playing elsewhere come the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season.
Bradley Beal’s wife is out here celebrating his soon-to-be freedom. https://t.co/JV8KQr9gW1
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 15, 2023
The writing is on the wall.
Washington’s rebuild is commencing, and it’s time for all parties involved to move on.
Who will ultimately land Beal when it’s all said and done? Time will tell.