Last July, the Washington Wizards signed Bradley Beal to a whopping five-year, $251 million contract extension. More shocking than the salary was the no-trade clause included in the deal. This made Beal the only player in the league to have veto powers on any trade involving him. How disastrous this decision was is even clearer today as the Wizards are actively trying to shop Beal.
Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that the Wizards are in serious negotiations with the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat, the two finalists to acquire Beal. The reported trade packages demonstrate how little leverage the Wizards have in these negotiations due to the no-trade clause.
The no-trade clause basically dictates that Beal can decide on his destination and force his way to any team, regardless of how attractive the trade package is for Washington. This is why a team like the Suns, who don’t have any particularly appealing assets can be a player in Beal negotiations. If Beal wants to play in Phoenix next to Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, there is not much the Wizards can do to prevent it from happening. Worse, Beal can even dictate the package the Wizards receive.
Normally, the trade package that makes the most sense for the Wizards would include Deandre Ayton, Landry Shamet, and first-round pick swaps. However, Beal naturally has an interest in playing alongside the most talent in Phoenix. To maximize his chances of winning a championship, he can force a package that doesn’t include Ayton. A core four of Beal, Booker, Durant, and Ayton would be a scary team, albeit with serious defensive and depth concerns.
Chris Haynes’ reporting suggests that the most likely trade package from the Suns includes Chris Paul and Landry Shamet. If additional pick swaps aren’t included, this is an extremely weak offer. However, the Wizards don’t have the leverage to push for the inclusion of Ayton or draft assets.
Moreover, the Miami Heat will almost certainly have a stronger offer for Beal. But, the same issue of leverage exists in a potential Miami deal as well. Reportedly, the Heat doesn’t want to include Tyler Herro in a package for Beal. Yet, even without Herro, they can make a stronger offer with multiple first-round picks.
If Beal prefers Phoenix over Miami, however, there is nothing Washington can do even if the Heat’s offer is better.
This is why the no-trade clause has put the Wizards in a corner. It is almost certain that Washington will not get fair value for Beal.
If teams needed any more reason to think twice before giving their players a no-trade clause, they can look at the situation the Wizards are in.