There are many possible trades for Bradley Beal. Beal leads the NBA in scoring this season, but the Wizards have struggled with a 8-17 record, the second-worst in the league. With the trade deadline upon us, Beal may get dealt to a contender. If a trade happens, here are three possible suitors and what the return values would be.
Trades for Bradley Beal: New York Knicks
Leon Rose makes his signature move as the President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks! The Knicks have been a dumpster-fire organization for years, and making a move for Bradley Beal should help propel them in the right direction.
While New York would not be contenders just by acquiring Beal, it would set the precedent that this team is trying to win. Could it come back to hurt them? Absolutely. But, at this point, it’s time to take a chance on someone.
Trading for Bradley Beal would not come at a low price for the Knicks. The third overall pick in 2019, RJ Barrett, would have to be included. Barrett is inconsistent at times as a shooter but still has the potential to average 25+ ppg at some point in his career down the road. Beal is a significant upgrade at shooting guard, but Barrett still has a high ceiling at age 20.
Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina have been extremely disappointing as former lottery picks by the Knicks. Neither has shown a ton of promise, but throwing in their contracts would help make this trade work. From Washington’s perspective, if they have to take on some contracts, they might as well bring in younger players.
The most intriguing part of this deal for Washington is the draft compensation. While it would be top-eight protected in case the Knicks have their annual collapse, New York’s 2021 first-round pick still holds a ton of value. The Knicks would likely have their pick land somewhere in the 10-20 range if they trade for Beal. From New York’s perspective, this would take away the incentive to tank for a higher pick.
The 2023 unprotected first also holds a lot of value, and it isn’t easy to gauge where the Knicks will be three years from now. In case that wasn’t enough, Washington also receives a 2023 New York second-round pick.
Isaac Bonga and Anthony Gill both have low value but were thrown into this trade to even out rosters. Of the two, Bonga has a higher ceiling, but likely neither will ever turn out to be starter-level players.
Trades for Bradley Beal: Boston Celtics
Celtics trade: 28.5M Trade exception, Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford, Robert Williams, 2021 Unprotected First, 2023 Unprotected First, 2025 Unprotected first, 2027 Unprotected First, 2021 OKC Second, 2022 Second
Wizards Trade: Bradley Beal, Robin Lopez, Isaac Bonga, Anthony Gill
No, this one is not pleasant to the eyes of the viewer, so let me break down every component of this trade. Also, as a side note, this deal would not be able to be completed until after February 20th because Robin Lopez was recently signed.
The Celtics received a 28.5M trade exception by trading Gordon Hayward to the Hornets in the offseason. In simpler terms, if they don’t trade that 28.5M exception by the end of the next offseason, they essentially burn that amount of money by not dealing for anyone. Throwing in that exception allows this trade to happen on a financial basis.
Other players such as Nikola Vucevic or Harrison Barnes are options to be involved in a deal for that exception, but for the sake of this article, let’s say that exception is part of a Bradley Beal trade.
The Celtics need reliable scorers around their two all-stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Kemba Walker has been inconsistent as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. When one of their three scorers has been out or having a down night, it has put Boston in a tough spot, contributing to their underwhelming 13-13 start.
Bradley Beal solves this issue and then some. Putting up 32.9 ppg, Beal leads the NBA in scoring and is likely to be an all-star for the third time in his career this year. This would also allow defensive stalwart, Marcus Smart, to come off the bench, where he thrived for parts of last season.
An underrated aspect of this trade for the Celtics is Robin Lopez. While Lopez is far from the ideal option either now or in the long-run, he would help log some minutes at the center position. Daniel Theis has taken a step back this year, while Tristan Thompson looks like a shell of his former self. Robert Williams has been solid but goes to Washington in this trade.
At age 32, Lopez has a ton of experience and could potentially start at center for Boston. He isn’t much of a scorer but can take on more prominent centers defensively, something the Celtics have struggled to do all season. Ideally, Danny Ainge would follow up this trade with another to acquire a better center, but Lopez is not a horrible option.
Boston also would acquire Isaac Bonga and Anthony Gill to even out rosters. Like I mentioned in the Knicks deal, neither brings a ton of upside.
For the Wizards, they get a ton of draft compensation and young pieces in this deal. Considering they don’t get a potential all-star, they make up for it by bringing in four future first-round picks.
Boston’s first-rounders in 2021 and 2023 likely won’t be lottery picks, but it’s more difficult to gauge how high the 2025 and 2027 selections will be. Washington also would get two second-rounders, including OKC’s 2021 second and Boston’s 2022 second.
Of the four players Washington would bring in in this deal, Payton Pritchard has the most upside. As the 26th pick in the 2020 draft, Pritchard has been great as the Celtics’ backup facilitator, averaging 7.9 ppg on 47.2% from the field and 42.9% from three. With Washington, Pritchard should get the opportunity to start alongside Russell Westbrook.
Romeo Langford hasn’t shown much as the 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft. However, at only 21 years old, he could provide some upside down the road. Robert Williams is having the best year of his career as the Celtics’ backup center. After Thomas Bryant tore his ACL, “The Timelord” would likely get the chance to be the Wizards’ starting center.
Trades for Bradley Beal: Miami Heat
Wizards Trade: Bradley Beal, Robin Lopez, Isaac Bonga, Anthony Gill
Heat fans might not want to hear this, but trading Tyler Herro for Bradley Beal is an excellent move for the team. Jimmy Butler has struggled, and while COVID-19 has hurt this team, Miami has taken a step back from last season. They don’t have enough reliable scoring, and bringing in Beal would help solve that issue. With Butler, Beal, and Bam Adebayo, Miami would once again have a big three and possibly be able to make a run at the Finals, despite their slow start.
Robin Lopez would help fill the void at the backup center created by Kelly Olynyk’s leaving. Meyers Leonard is also out for the year, and Lopez can fill in for him. As with the previous two trades, Isaac Bonga and Anthony Gill don’t have a ton of value but were added to this trade to even out rosters. Because of Lopez’s contract, this deal would not be able to be completed until after February 20th.
The 13th pick in 2019, Tyler Herro has looked great to start his career, headlined by his performances in the bubble last season. Now averaging 16.9 ppg this season, Herro would have the opportunity to be the Wizards’ face of the franchise in the future. Not that he’ll be a superstar, but he’ll get the chance to develop into one.
Precious Achiuwa was taken 20th overall by the Heat in the 2020 NBA draft and plays his role well as the backup power forward. Through 26 games, he’s averaging 6.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg off the bench while shooting 57.8% from the field. On a young Washington roster, Achiuwa should get the chance to crack the starting lineup.
Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk were added in for contract reasons and making the money even out. Olynyk has been reliable as a backup center and would likely start for the Wizards. It would be quite the turn of events for Olynyk, who was once hated by the Wizards fans after he caused a fight with Kelly Oubre Jr. in the 2017 playoffs. If traded, Iguodala likely would not report to Washington as he did with Memphis at the start of last season.
Due to the Stepien Rule, the Heat cannot trade their first-round pick until 2025. While the Wizards wouldn’t get immediate draft help, that first-round pick should help them out down the road.
It will be interesting to see if a team trades for Bradley Beal by the end of this season!
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