Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Trading Bradley Beal, Starting Nene and More


Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: December 21st

It’s Monday — meaning we get the chance to grow and improve as individuals, and hopefully start the week on a very positive note. Or, we get to watch the Washington Wizards take on DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings at home.

The Wizards have been incredibly inconsistent this season. They’re undermanned — Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Nene, Drew Gooden and Alan Anderson all missed the most recent game — and John Wall has been forced to carry the team. The likes of Garrett Temple and Jared Dudley have increased their production, but it’s tough to win when you’re relying heavily on the aforementioned role players.

As time goes on, the Wizards will get healthier and their record will improve. For now, though, we’re stuck with the current rotation and the fear of DeJuan Blair stepping on the court still looms.

Washington has the chance to get to .500 with several games at home. There are some questions surrounding the team, however.

Here’s what you guys came up with, via Twitter and Reddit.

Is trading/not re-signing Bradley Beal now becoming a viable option in light of all these injuries? -via oldmajorthepig

I don’t think the latter is a realistic option. The Washington Wizards have invested a lot in Beal and opting not to re-sign him would be a disaster. Trading him should be an option, though.

Beal is injured prone and his legs are made of glass. He’s been in the league for just four seasons and he’s already experienced four stress reactions. It’s an annual occurrence for the 22-year-old, unfortunately. Instead of paying him max money to sit on the bench in a suit, the Wizards should strongly consider moving him.

Teams like the Sacramento Kings, who have Boogie Cousins, are going to get desperate. Beal is still one of the best young guards in the NBA and he’s certainly capable of playing at an All-Star level. If the Wizards attach Nene’s expiring contract and an unprotected first round pick, I’m sure that Sacramento would at least have to strongly consider reuniting Boogie and Wall in the nation’s capital.

Washington is in a weird position right now. Choosing not to re-sign Bradley Beal isn’t an option. They’re either going to give him the max contract or they’re going to take a chance and trade him. If I was the president of the team, I’d absolutely be on the phone looking for deals.

Are the Wizards better off going back to starting Nene, or are they better off toughing this out and try to keep the spacing? -via KingRikaru

Who’s Nene?

This isn’t an option for several reasons.

  1. Nene is out with a strained calf and doesn’t seem to have any desire returning. He’s been hurt his entire career and I honestly don’t know if he even enjoys playing basketball. Some people around the league were skeptical — like Masai Ujiri, who traded Nene to Washington right after the Brazilian big man signed a contract extension.
  2. The problem with the team isn’t the starting lineup nor the system — it’s injuries. Washington only had seven or eight playable players on their roster. Wall, Temple, Porter (who’s out), Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat, Ramon Sessions, Gary Neal and Kris Humphries. It’s going to be tough to win when those guys comprise your rotation.

They’re better off sticking with the pace-and-space offense. Wall is thriving and Gortat is putting up solid numbers as well. A healthy Washington Wizards team would be very good in the new offense. Nene might be the most unreliable player in the NBA, so he shouldn’t even be considered.

I’ve actually never heard this idea before and I kind of like it.

Tyronn Lue has coached under some of the best in the league and I’m still not sure if the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t respect him more than head coach David Blatt. He’s played in the league and he knows what the players go through on a daily basis. Plus, he played for the Washington Wizards.

Knowing the organization like we do, though, I don’t think the team would make a bold move. They would probably consider Vinny Del Negro and everything would burst into flames.

I couldn’t imagine having to write about the NBA Lottery again, so for the sake of being optimistic, I think we’ll see the Washington Wizards in the playoffs. They just need to get healthy. A roster move would be fun, but who can they move? Teams are rushing to trade for Blair, believe it or not.

If they don’t make the playoffs, the lottery might actually be a good thing. As a fan, I don’t want to see it. I’d be incredibly disappointed if the Wizards miss the playoffs, especially since the expectations were so high.

I expect more of the same from Otto Porter, who like the rest of the team, has been terribly inconsistent. Porter can’t defend bigger players — and the problem is, every player is bigger than him. He can’t shoot it well from deep and he constantly botches Wall’s assists.

Occasionally, he will drop buckets and it will look like he’s the second coming of Tayshaun Prince. Other times, Porter will be invisible. That’s just who he is. Until he puts on weight and develops his jumper, we’ll continue to get an inconsistent Porter.

Next: Wizards Could Have A Future Star In Oubre

To those who participated in this week’s edition of Mailbag Monday, thank you. If you want to be featured in next week’s, let us know on Twitter: @WizofAwes. See the other editions here.