After weeks of rumors surrounding the Wizards and a potential breakup with Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, the Lakers finally got the Wizards to engage in a trade built around Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and possibly the Lakers’ pick at number 22. Some Wizards fans may claim that Beal will be happy to stay with more depth on his team, but we all know the Wizards just became a worse basketball team.
Daryl Morey is playing this like a genius right now, showing patience while half of the Sixers twitter population has been screaming to trade Ben Simmons for anything. Morey has sat and waited for circumstances to turn in his favor once again, and as a result, can now potentially swoop in on Bradley Beal. If he does, he would surely have his praises sung even more than when he traded Josh Richardson for Seth Curry.
It’s no coincidence that this trade happened on draft night, when everyone knows the Sixers want to make their move to trade Ben Simmons for a Fresh Prince’s Ransom. This is the perfect time for them to do so, and with the Wizards seemingly getting worse, it only seems fair to Beal that he would be traded to a contending team like Philadelphia where he could flourish with the best teammate he has ever had in Joel Embiid.
The Sixers have plenty to offer the Wizards in a potential Bradley Beal trade as well, ranging from draft picks and swaps, to young players like Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey, and All-star level talent in Ben Simmons. Any deal for Beal would more than likely include a little bit of all of these and would have to be centered around Ben Simmons, and while I have always been a supporter of Ben, a change of scenery is needed for both him and for Philly fans.
The Wizards would be set up very well and should have the incentive to let Beal succeed. Beal has shown loyalty to the team and I’m sure the team would want to do right by him. The 3-time All-Star has all the control right now. If he asks for a trade I’m sure Philadelphia would be both one of Beal’s top destinations and the team who could offer the Wizards the most in return.
It is also worth mentioning that Woj tweeted out that the Wizards did this to create cap flexibility, and while this could be completely true, this could also be a statement that was released to make it seem like the Wizards aren’t tanking for the future and that Beal is still in their plans, keeping his value high. If I was Bradley Beal, I wouldn’t want to take another trip around the merry-go-round of an NBA rebuild. In the end though, the ball is almost poetically in Beal’s court, and if he wants to win, he should request a trade.
This is also why it is so important for Daryl Morey to not just dump Ben Simmons. Even if Bradley Beal decides to remain in Washington, the NBA landscape changes so rapidly that having a valuable piece in a young All-Star point guard in Ben Simmons is amazing. As circumstances change, we never know all the ways our current pieces can be used.
Also, hats off to Washington Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard, honestly. It takes a lot of courage to pull yourself out of NBA Purgatory and he decided that he would do just that through a rebuild. Tommy, if you’re reading this, I wish you the best of luck…
…and please trade us Bradley Beal.
Photo Credits: Icon Sportswire