It seems like we are reaching the end of the Bradley Beal sweepstakes, with the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat reportedly being the favorites to land the All-Star shooting guard. However, the reports suggest that the Wizards will likely receive a meager return for Beal, because of his no-trade clause and lack of leverage Washington has in the negotiations.
If the best offers are indeed the ones reported by the media, the Wizards need to consider holding onto Beal.
The Phoenix Suns’ package of Chris Paul and Landry Shamet is less than ideal for the Wizards. Washington needs future draft assets or a young player with upside to make it worth their while. Any deal not including Deandre Ayton or two first-round pick swaps would be unfair value for Beal.
The same is true for Miami’s offer. If the Wizards aren’t receiving Tyler Herro or two-first round picks, it is not worth pulling the trigger on the trade now.
Draft assets and young players are key if the Wizards are starting a rebuild. If the Wizards are not receiving either, it means you are trading your franchise icon for pennies on the dollar. Dealing Beal solely for a salary dump is not the way to start a rebuild.
Having a sub-All-Star level player like Beal who will make $46 million next season on your books is not ideal. But it’s less of a problem if you are not trying to win. Young players are generally cheap, and the Wizards can still find talent with the rest of their salary cap if Beal stays.
The Wizards need to gain their leverage back in trade negotiations. They can do this by calling Phoenix’s and Miami’s bluffs. If they are not putting real assets in the trade, then the deal is off.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world if the Beal deal doesn’t go through this summer. They can revisit it at the trade deadline or next offseason. They can almost definitely find a trade package of similar value at that point to the ones being discussed now.