The Bradley Beal sweepstakes are in full swing, with the field reportedly having narrowed down to the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns. Considering the lack of leverage the Washington Wizards have due to the no-trade clause possessed by Beal, all the Wizards can do is hope Beal doesn’t force his way to the Suns.
Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report broke the news that the Phoenix Suns are unwilling to include Deandre Ayton in the trade package. Instead, their offer to Washington is Chris Paul and Landry Shamet. The Suns are unable to include any first-round picks since they gave up all of them in the Kevin Durant deal last season. Reporting doesn’t clarify whether Phoenix will include pick swaps in a potential Beal deal.
Regardless of the draft assets, the Phoenix offer is an insufficient offer for Beal. The 38-year-old Chris Paul is still a valuable starting-level point guard who could be helpful on a young, rebuilding Wizards. But, his trade value is non-existent. He is due $30.8 million for next season, and the Suns were considering waiving him because of his negative trade value. There is a good chance the Wizards will end up stretching or waiving him if Paul wants to play for a contender in his final years in the NBA.
This means that all the Wizards would receive in this deal is Shamet, a bench shooter at best, plus potentially some mediocre draft assets. If Beal decides he wants Phoenix to be his next destination, Washington will have lost their best player and All-Star for basically nothing. This would not only be a big public relations hit for the franchise but also a significant setback for the rebuilding hopes for the Wizards.
For the bare minimum, the Wizards need to insist on receiving Deandre Ayton or the pick swaps. A deal without either of those would be a disaster for Washington. Bradley Beal holds the key here; he could either do the Wizards a favor or force his way to Phoenix regardless of the return. Stressful yet fascinating times await the Wizards fans.