Compare the haul: Bradley Beal vs. Damian Lillard

Ranking top 10 Bradley Beal trade packages for Washington Wizards: Portland Trail Blazers
Ranking top 10 Bradley Beal trade packages for Washington Wizards: Portland Trail Blazers /
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(Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

This verdict should not be overly surprising: Portland got the better haul. However, this is with a few caveats.

The first caveat is obviously, as stated before, the Wizards had to deal with Bradley Beal’s no-trade clause. Not only could Beal decide where he went, but he also got to dictate what the package being sent out would look like. Thank you, Tommy Sheppard.

Beal wanted Phoenix, that was it. In the midst of a championship window led by Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, you knew from the jump that any package Phoenix sent back would be mediocre at best. The new front office in Washington wanted to move on, so that’s what they did.

The other caveat here is that Portland had already done a lot of their heavy lifting to begin their rebuild prior to making the Lillard trade. They got some lottery luck and were able to land who most people believe is a franchise player in Scoot Henderson. They were also able to hit on Shaedon Sharpe last year, and Anfernee Simons is already a 20ppg scorer at just 24 years old.

I say all of that to say that yes, Portland got a good haul, but without Henderson, Sharpe, and Simons already on their roster, I don’t know that the package looks as glamorous. The prize players in the trades- Poole and Ayton- are not that far off as far as good young players go. The main reason Portland had the better haul is the draft compensation.

With Phoenix trading every tradable first-round pick that they have, Washington never stood a chance in that department. The new Wizards front office did what they could, and made out alright in the end, but waiting too long to trade their franchise star ended up being their downfall.

With the new season ready to start, it is doubtful that many around the league see Portland or Washington as any more than a bottom-feeder this year. But, this is how it starts. You bring in some youth, evaluate talent, and take the slow route to the top.

For both teams, this is the ground floor. Starting fresh is what both teams needed, and now they can see where the future will take them.

(Disclaimer: If you ever run an NBA team, do not give the 34th-best player in the NBA a no-trade clause!)