Are The Lakers Trading Kyle Kuzma For Bradley Beal?
Are the Lakers trading Kyle Kuzma for Bradley Beal this year?
That is the question on the minds of NBA fans around the league after Washington began sending mixed signals regarding Beal’s future with the franchise.
Beal, 26, is one of the most sought after All Stars in the game.
At one point he was viewed as an essential piece in Washington’s 1-2 attack starring John Wall.
Unfortunately, Wall began getting injured with increasing frequency and what was once viewed as a promising young team collapsed.
Last year, the Wizards finished the season with a 32-50 record – good for sixth worst in the league.
Things figure to only get uglier this coming year, as Washington has done very little to upgrade the roster.
The poor record from last year, mind you, is no reflection on Beal’s skill set.
After being drafted with the third pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Beal has averaged 19.8 points, 3.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game for Washington.
Last year, with Wall out all but 32 games, Beal averaged a career high 25.6 points per game.
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 6, 2019
In July 2019, Wizards general manager (GM) Tommy Sheppard said that the team would offer Beal a three-year max contract extension, and wouldn’t trade him even if he refused to sign the deal.
“He’s got two years left on his deal, and he’s from Missouri and we are going to have to show him,” he said at the time.
“We need to show him that we are about building this the right way, that we aren’t going to have character-deficient guys around him.
“We are going to surround him with guys he wants to play with.”
While the Wizards may publicly say that Beal is not on the trade block, they have a big problem on their hands.
Their salary cap situation is a mess and with Wall likely out for the duration of the 2019-20 season, they are set to spend a ton of cash for a very poor on-the-court product.
In a perfect world they would be able to unload Wall and surround Beal with more talent.
Unfortunately, Wall’s albatross of a contract makes him essentially untradable.
The only real trade piece Washington has in order to rebuild the franchise is Beal.
So assuming they were willing to deal Beal, where could he land?
The Lakers would make a lot of sense.
They obviously gave up a ton of young assets to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, but they still have Kuzma.
Kuzma is precisely the sort of young chip a team like the Wizards could use to begin the rebuilding process.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, would get a legitimate All Star to pair with LeBron James and Davis on a championship-contending squad.
A team that desperately needs a competent three point shooter would suddenly get a great one.
Obviously the Lakers would have to take back some money in addition to shipping out Kuzma, but it would still be a worthwhile transaction given how limited of a window James has as a top-tier NBA talent.
Will the Wizards ultimately trade Beal this year? It remains to be seen. But if they do, don’t be shocked if he ends up in purple and gold.