Is this the year we finally see a Bradley Beal trade rumor come true at the deadline? I doubt it.
The Washington Wizards are surging. During the month of February, the Wizards are 9-6, a vast improvement over their 4-12 start during the season’s first 16 games. It’s a hot streak that Scott Brooks saw coming all along. And it may keep Bradley Beal in Washington for the foreseeable future.
The Wizards look like a team reborn. Although much credit should be given to Rusell Westbrook, who is having a monster month (18.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 10.1 assists), we all know that this Wizards team lives and dies by Bradley Beal. In February, Beal is averaging 30.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. He’s the NBA’s leading scorer. He’s an All-Star starter. He’s unstoppable.
Thanks to the Wizards’ recent success, a Bradley Beal trade feels less likely than ever. Things are finally starting to click in D.C. Although Beal’s trade value rises with each 30-point game he adds to his resume (20 this season already), the Wizards are unlikely to blow it up just as it’s all coming together. Especially with the playoffs still within reach.
Thanks to a wide-open Eastern Conference, the Wizards’ early stumbles haven’t doomed them completely. Don’t look now, but the Wizards are only 2.5 games out of home-court advantage in the playoffs. It’s no secret that the playoffs are the primary objective in Washington. If you’ve been following Ted Leonsis’ commentary on Twitter, that much is obvious. The recent surge has ensured that won’t change, and the Wizards aren’t getting to the playoffs this season without Beal.
The Washington Wizards aren’t interested in trading Bradley Beal, but will they get him some help?
Despite Bradley Beal being the king of NBA trade deadline rumors for at least three seasons now, it seems more likely that the Wizards will try to get Beal help than get rid of him.
Although Mark Cuban has vehemently shot down the Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors, Marc Spears didn’t let them die that easily. And the Wizards are said to be “monitoring” that situation.
It may not be Porzingis who joins the Wizards midseason (he will have three years/$101 million left on his contract after this season), but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Wizards are buyers at the trade deadline. Although injured, Ish Smith is an expiring contract that has been proven unnecessary. The Wizards have gone 7-1 since his quad injury. Isaac Bonga is another expiring contract that has more or less fallen out of the rotation, and although the Wizards picked up Tory Brown Jr’s option earlier this season, he has also ceased playing meaningful minutes.
The Wizards may make some noise before the March 25 trade deadline. However, don’t expect Bradley Beal to be going anywhere. The Wizards are finally on the upswing they’ve been waiting for. While suffering through two losing seasons and a disastrous start to this one, Beal has been nothing but professional. Almost better than the Wizards deserve. Nobody would have blamed him for making a mess, as several other superstars have done recently. But Beal didn’t. He stuck by the team when all looked lost. They owe him the same loyalty now that there’s hope.
This doesn’t mean other teams are going to stop asking about Beal. Given the team’s goals, though, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to move on from the NBA’s leading scorer now that they’re finally on a path towards the playoffs.