The Washington Wizards will have an important decision to make this year. They will either bet big on Bradley Beal and a healthy John Wall being enough to compete in the largely unimpressive Eastern Conference, or they will opt to blow everything up and start anew.
If Washington does ultimately settle on moving Beal, the Golden State Warriors have emerged as an intriguing potential landing spot for the 27-year-old. This past week, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst outlined a scenario where Beal lands alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the near future.
“The trade there is pretty simple,” he said during a recent episode of The Hoop Collective.
“Andrew Wiggins is involved from a salary standpoint. And then it would be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, the (Minnesota) Timberwolves pick next year, and then I also included Minnesota’s second-round pick next year, which I anticipate to be a very good selection.”
In Windhorst’s opinion, however, Beal would need to explicitly demand a trade to expedite this process.
“Golden State would be much better off if Bradley Beal says in the next month, ‘I don’t want to play in Washington anymore,’” he added.
“Over the next month, I think they have the best offer. I think once you get into the season — and they’ve already driven the new car off the lot with that second pick …”
That might be problematic, given the fact that Beal has vocally maintained as recently as this past week that he really wants to make his situation in Washington work.
“I’m a loyal guy,” he said during an appearance on the On the Road with Buck & Phil podcast recently.
“I want to be here. I’m here. I’ve signed my extension. And that will mean the world to me. That honestly would you know, being able to finish your career in one place? You know, you don’t see that in today’s game.”
Last October, Beal signed a two-year, $72 million extension to stay with the Wizards.
“So that would definitely be an honor, you know, but my ultimate goal is to win,” Beal went on to say.
“I want to win and we got to win. And I know we can win. I know it’s a place where we can win and I know it’s a place where we can get guys to come here to win. But we got to go prove it on the floor for sure.”
In 2019-20, Beal averaged 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per outing while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line. Some folks, including his lovely wife, strongly felt like he deserved All-NBA consideration. The Wizards’ losing record was probably the reason why the honor was not bestowed upon him.
Yikes. The beef is real. https://t.co/jYnL8dCPQf
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 21, 2020
Aside from the Warriors, Beal has also been loosely linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, though it is unclear how viable that deal actually is.
One way or another, Beal’s status heading into next year promises to be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on.
If the Wizards start the season off strong, chatter regarding him landing elsewhere will probably simmer down for good. However, if the team ends up being slow off the blocks, a trade will probably become inevitable.