The NBA off-season is here, which means trade rumors and various player ‘recruitments’ are the buzz within the basketball world. Everyone from title contenders to bottom-feeders are sure to have their fair share of intriguing trade scenarios and free agent signings.
For the Golden State Warriors, the gossip spotlight will be brighter than most as they are on the road back to championship contention. They have a claim in the potential sweepstakes for Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021, but since next offseason is a while away, talks about going after Washington Wizards’ super scorer, Bradley Beal, are now building up.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst threw out the idea in the recent episode of the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, along with co-hosts Kevin Pelton and Tim Bontemps:
“The trade [with the Wizards] is pretty simple … Andrew Wiggins is involved from a salary standpoint, and then it would be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, the [Minnesota] Timberwolves pick next year, and then I also included Minnesota’s second-round pick next year, which I anticipate to be a very good selection.”
The offer looks good on the surface as Wiggins considerably salvaged his image in 2019-20 following a string of disappointing seasons. After increasing his production, he then re-generated more attention when he got shipped to the Warriors during the trade deadline. He finished the year averaging 21.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.
Then, there’s also the picks. The second overall selection in this year’s draft will open a ton of possibilities for the Wizards – they have a chance to land the likes of Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, or LaMelo Ball, or use it to acquire multiple pieces. The two future picks are also expected to be high since the Timberwolves are not looking like a playoff team – the first-rounder is only top 3-protected.
While it’s pretty intriguing, let’s not forget that the player on the other side is not a project with potential – he’s a proven talent. Bradley Beal is a two-time All-Star and a scoring machine that’s coming off a red-hot season, where he logged career-highs 30.5 PPG (2nd in the league) and 6.1 APG. He’s not someone that the Wizards would part with easily.
Additionally, Beal seems very happy in Washington and has never shown any hint that he wants to be traded. All that, plus the upcoming return of Beal’s backcourt partner, John Wall, from injury makes it nearly impossible to see the Wizards front office field any offers – unless it’s THAT good.
The Warriors will simply have to go all-in if they really intend to lure Beal out of DC. For now, they’re offering big market and championship opportunities to their targets, which are pretty enticing to a player who’s been playing for a team that has only won three playoff series (out of four appearances) in the last ten years.
Superstars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are back in the fold off the injury list, and will be alongside former Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green once again. The trio alone should be able to lift the Warriors back atop the West, so imagine if they can get boost in Bradley Beal’s level.