Washington Wizards: Trading John Wall and Bradley Beal to Miami is a Bad Idea

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Rumors have been floating around for a while now about a possible trade that would send John Wall and Bradley Beal to the Miami Heat.

It’s been floating out there for a while now. It died down for a bit, but now it’s back. The Miami Heat are apparently interested in getting Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, and they’re willing to take on John Wall‘s supermax contract to get him.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Wall to Miami rumors, but their interest in Beal is new. To this point, though, there have been no reports on who the Heat would be willing to give up in this hypothetical trade.

Miami Heat fans can do all the photoshopping they want to put Wall and Beal in Miami Vice jerseys with Jimmy Butler, but one question still remains…

Why would the Washington Wizards do this?

All offseason the Wizards have stood firm in their stance of ‘we aren’t trading Bradley Beal.’  Plus, Beal’s given no indication he wants out of Washington. At least not yet. Maybe people think that will change if he doesn’t sign an extension this summer, but there’s just as good of a chance that it doesn’t.

If Beal is a reluctance to sign an extension this summer, it could have nothing to do with his commitment to Washington long-term. Instead, it could be about his commitment to the bag.

The expected offer the Wizards will give him on July 26th will be for three years, $111 million. Next summer Beal could be eligible for four years, $168 million or five years, $254 million deals if he makes an All-NBA team. Last year, he was the top vote-getter amongst players that weren’t selected. Why not bet on himself for the possibility of a bigger payday?

Plus, it’s not as though the Wizards have to trade him now if he doesn’t extend. He still is under contract for two seasons.

What’s the Rush?

There’s no reason for the Wizards to panic now and trade Beal for pennies on the dollar to Miami. Be patient if you want to trade him. A contender with an injury in their backcourt or a playoff team that thinks they’re one piece away could come calling mid-season for Beal.

By himself, Beal could fetch a more favorable rebuild package from another team than the cap relief Miami’s offering.  Young, foundational players. Multiple first-round draft picks. These are all things the Wizards could get from teams outside of South Beach.

The Wizards could even wait until next summer to deal Beal if his commitment seems to be wavering between now and then. Teams around the NBA would still be willing to take Beal on for one year. We’ve recently seen teams give up a lot for rentals like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Paul George. A 27-year-old Beal with one year left on an affordable contract would still get a haul on the open market. Especially given the lack of superstars hitting free agency next summer, Beal could be the NBA’s most attractive piece if he’s made available.

Get Fair Value

These rumored deals aren’t just pennies on the dollar for Beal, either. They don’t represent a favorable return for Wall even if the Wizards are desperate to get rid of his contract by any means necessary. Most of the names rumored in this hypothetical trade would come with multi-year deals: James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow.

No Wall means some financial flexibility, but to what end? So now the Wizards essentially have a blank roster sheet and nothing but money to attract potential free agents? In today’s star-aligning NBA, you often need more than just the space to land a big fish.

The Heat aren’t offering much, if anything, besides cap space. Quite frankly, it’s because they don’t have much else to offer. They don’t have a trove of first-round picks to offer. They don’t have a foundational young player that the Wizards can start their rebuild around. The two most attractive pieces, Tyler Herro (who can’t be traded until August 9th) and Bam Adebayo, might not have been available when the Heat were rumored to be in on Russell Westbrook. Why should we assume they’d be available for Beal and Wall?

Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

The Wizards traded Otto Porter for nothing but cap space at last year’s deadline. They can’t afford to do the same with Wall and Beal. While getting Wall off the books is enticing, the rumored deals with the HEAT hardly offer a fair return for an all-star backcourt under thirty years old. And let’s not give up on John Wall quite yet. He’s been the heart of this team for years. He has an uphill battle coming back from injury, but lets at least give him a chance before we give him away. He deserves that, and he looks hungry to prove the doubters wrong.

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What are the Wizards left with in this situation to build around? Dion Waiters and Bam Adebayo? Justice Winslow and James Johnson? Kelly Olynyk and Goran Dragic? No thanks. I’ll take Beal and a fully healed Wall instead. The Wizards have things set up so that they can be competitive in free agency for the next couple of summers with Beal and Wall still on the roster. I like that plan. They don’t need the “relief” Miami’s currently offering.