Do you ever wish that the second after you do something, you wish you hadn’t. For Bradley Beal, that decision could have sunken in when he signed a max extension with the Washington Wizards.
Beal’s extension was worth $72 million which begins in the 2021-2022 season and can get out of it in 2022-2023 with a player option. So Washington fans can no longer worry about him leaving in free-agency any time soon. However, there are several reasons why if they want any chance of winning in the future, they will trade him.
Trade Value is extremely high
When running mate John Wall was shelved with a heel injury on December 28th of last season, the brunt of the workload has been put on Beal. Then the news came out that Wall ruptured his Achilles, sidelining him for the rest of the 2019-2020 season and likely some of the 2020-2021 season.
The heavy workload timeline for Beal continues to get extended and one could ask, ‘How much longer can Beal sustain this success’? Last season Beal finished with the most minutes per game (tied with Paul George) with 36.9 but Beal would go full ironman and play all 82 games.
This season, Beal has responded with a hot start, scoring 28.6 PPG which ranks fifth best in the NBA. For a team looking to add another superstar and feels they need that scorer at the guard position to make them a legit contender, Beal is the prime candidate.
A team Beal has been long linked to is the powerhouse out in Los Angeles with the Lakers. Other teams besides the Lakers might throw their hat in the ring for Beal’s services via trade.
The Wizards must be smart in listening to trade offers for Beal and can set their demands high given the performance, consistency, and reliability that Beal has exhibited in Wall’s absence.
Why not trade Beal while you can get a kings ransom for the league’s top shooting guard?
Opportunity to rebuild
Assuming the Wizards are confident they can win with the Beal and Wall backcourt when they are healthy, this is no longer a discussion. However, if things do not work out when Wall comes back next season, the time to rebuild and get assets for Beal could simmered down.
The possibility for a drop off in Beal’s production could very well happen, diminishing his trade value.
Washington has made a huge financial investment in both Beal and Wall (Wall signed a four-year $171 million contract extension in 2017) and the opportunity to shed one of their contracts off the books has presented itself via trading Beal.
Once Beal is out of the picture, the Wizards can then spend money on a superstar big man. Something that they have not had since…Chris Webber?
Plus, it is not that the pairing of Wall and Beal does not work. Rather, Wall’s true talent can be expanded upon with a dominant big man. Think back to his Kentucky Wildcat days when he had teammate DeMarcus Cousins.
Allow Beal a chance for a ring
Much like any superstar does after several years of service and no hardware to show for it, they jump ship to go get a ring.
You cannot blame Beal for wanting to do the same with him now in his eighth year and in the prime of his career with no hope that Washington can deliver a championship in his ‘prime window’.
Other players who have left after eight years and no rings included players like Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.
While neither went on to get a championship, if Beal chooses the right fit with the right superstar he could join the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant who took their team over the hump and delivered a championship.
The recognition that other shooting guards like Devin Booker, Klay Thompson and others get should be the same for Beal, and a trade to a bigger market/contender could shine light on a player who has finished in the top 20 in scoring the past three seasons.
Beal has given everything to the city of Washington and it would be in the best interest for both parties to find a trade partner and wish each other the best of luck going forward.