After losing his longtime partner John Wall to the Houston Rockets, it’s been quite clear who the best player in Washington, D.C. is. Bradley Beal, no question. Beal has been on a tear to kick off this year, scoring 25-plus points in 17 games to kick off the year. But the Washington Wizards still sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. With the Wizards off to another slow start, let’s dive into the Beal trade rumors and check out some potential landing spots.
Bradley Beal Trade Rumors: Possible Landing Spots
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have been off to a slow start in 2021. New Orleans sits at 8-12, fearing another sub-.500 season of basketball. There’s a couple of factors going into this potential landing spot. For one, the Pelicans are reportedly open to discussing trade options for one of their young stars in Lonzo Ball.
The Pelicans, viewed as a key team in NBA trade market, are receiving calls on Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick from interested teams and have shown openness to discussing both, per sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2021
The Pelicans also possess a multitude of riches in the forms of draft picks and young talent. New Orleans sits with 12 first-round picks through the 2027 NBA Draft. If the Pelicans are looking to make a deal, they certainly have the capital to pull this off.
It also appears that Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are the true centerpieces of the franchise moving forward. Ingram walked away with the 2020 Most Improved Player Award and has played at a similar level. And, of course, Zion is the future of the entire league.
Beal possesses similar passing skills to Ball but is more adept at scoring the basketball. The 27-year-old Beal is scoring 34.8 points per night on close to 50 percent shooting from the field.
Golden State Warriors
It’s been a surprising start to the season for the Golden State Warriors. Even without Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry has kept the Warriors alive with an 11-10 record and the ninth seed in the Western Conference. It’s easy to imagine the Warriors stick with their core and simply await the return of Thompson next year. But, Beal presents an interesting option.
Beals adds the third star in Golden State this season and the potential for four different superstar talents in the following years. The Warriors are another team flush with draft capital, including two first-round selections in the 2021 NBA Draft: their own, and the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ top-three protected pick.
Beals adds another catch-and-shoot option for Curry and Draymond Green to find in space. He’s been quite adept at the catch-and-shoot during his years with Wall, and now Russell Westbrook. And, he’s proven his superstar ability to create his own shots this season.
After a memorable trip to the 2020 NBA Finals, it’s been tough going this season for the Miami Heat. Miami is 7-14 and has been one of the hardest-hit teams by the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be considered a wildcard option to land Beal, but Pat Riley has been known to pull off some blockbuster moves.
Miami is flush with young talent including Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, and others. It’s possible that some members of this trio could be at the high-end of their trade stock after the Finals run. If Riley and the Heat front office deem any or all of this group as over-performers, then why not try and land Beal in a trade.
Beal owns nine years of NBA experience, two All-Star Game nods, and has averaged 30 points per game in each of the last two seasons. He’s a proven superstar, which is far more valuable than young potential. It’s likely that neither Herro, Robinson, nor Nunn will ever reach this level of superstar production. If Miami is willing to ship off some future first-round draft picks, it’s very possible to see Beal in Miami. As a reminder, the Heat were among the favorites to land James Harden before he ended up with the Brooklyn Nets.
Could Beal be Staying Home?
Despite all of the trade rumors, there’s a distinct possibility that Beal stays home in D.C. According to Shams Charania and Fred Katz of The Athletic, Beal has expressed his intention to stay with the Wizards. Beal has even voiced his own frustrations regarding these trade rumors.
Bradley Beal has so far expressed he wants to remain with the Wizards and has not indicated he prefers a trade, per sources.
Beal, however, feels frustrated for the portrayal of his situation in D.C.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 2, 2021
As of now, Beal wants to stay in Washington, D.C. But, the NBA Trade Deadline is set for March 25, leaving plenty of time for the Wizards or Beal to come to a different conclusion. Trading Beal offers the Wizards an opportunity to immediately hit the franchise reset/rebuild button, and Beal may be interested in a less-dramatic exit than Harden had in Houston. Don’t count out the possibility of this trade happening, yet.
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