The Wizards‘ decision to trade Bradley Beal is a smart move that probably should have been made four years ago, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins argues that Washington could have gotten much more in return for Beal in 2019 after John Wall suffered an Achilles injury that altered the future of the franchise. Beal had just finished his second All-Star season, and although the deal would have been controversial, the Wizards could have demanded a significantly higher price than what they’re getting from Phoenix.
Beal had become frustrated with the organization’s lack of progress, and former team president Tommy Sheppard had considered trading him at the 2022 deadline, according to Robbins. That plan fell through when Beal suffered a season-ending ligament tear in his left wrist, and Robbins speculates that Sheppard might still be running the team if he could have moved Beal at that point.
Sources tell Robbins that the Wizards are willing to work with the Suns to expand the trade if Chris Paul wants to be shipped to a contending team. The Clippers have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Paul, and Robbins believes Washington might be able to pick up at least one useful player and a draft pick in such a deal.
There’s more from Washington:
- New president of basketball operations Michael Winger made a similar trade when he was with the Clippers, sending Blake Griffin to Detroit when L.A.’s front office decided his contract was an impediment to building a contender, notes Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. Golliver believes trading Beal was the right move, even if the Wizards didn’t get much in return, because the franchise now has financial flexibility and a commitment to start rebuilding. Golliver expects Winger to focus on developing players and collecting draft assets, the same way he did when he worked for the Thunder.
- Kristaps Porzingis would become a valuable trade asset if he picks up his $36MM player option for next season, observes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Porzingis is accomplished both as an outside shooter and rim protector, connecting at 38.5% from long distance this season while averaging 1.5 blocks per game. He has become a more effective post scorer and may have moved past his health concerns by appearing in 65 games. Porzingis is only 27 and might not have a future in Washington if Winger is serious about a long-term rebuild.
- The Wizards appear to be targeting Arkansas’ Anthony Black with the No. 8 pick in the draft, tweets Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. Multiple sources told her that Black was impressive during his workout and interview in Washington.