Washington Wizards: Pros and Cons of Trading Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

As the Wizards struggle to find their rhythm, trade talks surrounding Washington continue to grow.

Despite being the team’s leading scorer for the past 4 seasons, Bradley Beal’s name has been mentioned in trade talks as much as anyone else. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dealing the Wizards’ star guard.


Beal has highest trade value

The Washington Wizards boast one of the league’s best guard play between Bradley Beal and John Wall. The duo average a combined 42.6 PPG, the 4th highest scoring backcourt behind Golden State, Houston, and Portland. Wall, a 5 time All-Star, has been critiqued for his lack of leadership in the past. That has never been more prevalent than this season, as Wall constantly bemoans officials and never hesitates to point fingers in post-game pressers.

Seemingly, his trade stock declines day by day. Midway through his 9th season, teams are hesitant to trade for an injury plagued guard on the back end of his career. Beal, however, is peaking at the right time.

The 7 year guard is coming off his first All-Star appearance in ‘16-’17. He’s averaged 20 + PPG in his last 3 seasons. He complements his high scoring numbers with respectable averages of 4 assists per game and 4 rebounds per game. Beal also competed in all 82 games last season.

At age 25, Beal is high volume scorer with the ability to turn a franchise around when combined with the right pieces. Opposing teams are willing to dish out comparable players or even high draft picks in return for Beal’s talents.

The Wizards would save cap space by trading Beal

Washington is plagued by a number of bad contracts. Bradley Beal is not one of them. Despite Beal’s outstanding play, it might be in the best interest of the Wizards to trade away his contact. Washington has the 5th highest total team salary in the NBA, trailing only the Thunder, Warriors, Raptors and Rockets.

Beal is set to make a deserving $27 Million next season. By trading Beal away for a smaller contract, the Wizards would have more breathing room in free agency. Free agents set to hit the market this offseason include Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Demarcus Cousins and Tobias Harris.

Blow it all up

Nothing is working in Washington’s favor this season. The Wizards sit at 8-14 and have yet to play with the type of togetherness necessary for the grueling course of a NBA season. Fans are on edge and have run out of patience with team president Ernie Grunfeld.

As opposing teams continue to build pieces together, Washington has remained steady with their core. If the Wizards’ trade Beal, can it even get much worse than this?


Beal is in his prime

All of the reasons that make Beal a valuable trade asset are reasons why he is so important to Washington. Not only is he the Wizard’s leading scorer, but he contributes with assists and rebounds as well.

His arm length and agility allows him to defend the opposing team’s best guard. His ability to score from anywhere on the court frees up space for John Wall, Otto Porter and other teammates. Take away Beal and the only two legitimate scoring options are Wall and Porter.

Beal might not be the root of the problem

Brad Beal’s voice resonates within the Washington locker room. An approachable guy, Beal has been known to welcome newcomers and rookies with open arms. He’s been said to be the first one in the gym and the last one out, often staying 1 or 2 hours after practice to perfect his shot.

When leading by example, younger players can emulate his work ethic and will to succeed. John Wall has been known to bump heads with teammates in the past, more recently with Marcin Gortat. Without Beal, who will step up as mediator in the Washington locker room?

Beal’s contract is reasonable

As mentioned before, Bradley Beal has one of the more reasonable contracts on the team. John Wall’s contract of $37 million per year is set to kick in next season.

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Otto Porter will make Beal’s equivalent of $27 million per year next season, though Porter averages a disappointing 10 PPG less than Beal. Ian Mahinmi will make a whopping $15 million. Brad Beal earns his keep by his consistently above average play.

Of all the contracts to trade away, would it even make sense for the Wizards to deal Beal away?