Bradley Beal, the star guard from the Washington Wizards, has drawn the eye of the Los Angeles Lakers. Beal’s name popped up in multiple trade rumors involving the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Lakers.
In reality, the chances that the Lakers pull off a trade for Beal are more like a pipe dream. The Lakers can’t afford Beal, and they don’t have much to offer in exchange with the Wizards. And, Beal doesn’t want to leave the Wizards, as bad as they’ve been.
The Lakers could pull a multi-team trade with the Wizards, which could send Beal to the Brooklyn Nets. Earlier rumors suggested the Lakers would send Kyle Kuzma to the Wizards, the Wizards would send Beal to the Nets, the Nets would ship Spencer Dinwiddie to the Wizards, and the Wizards and Nets would send draft picks to the Lakers.
Another rumor suggested the Lakers are interested in Dinwiddie. The Nets’ backup point guard is expected to play second-fiddle to Kyrie Irving next season, but the Lakers could use him in the backcourt. If the Nets end up with a dead-end trade proposal for Beal, they could ship Dinwiddie to the Lakers for Kuzma and other players.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to Bradley Beal,” said Shams Charania from The Athletic. “Because they’re ultimately going to offer him the supermax contract that they can offer, and he’s going to have to make a decision on whether the Wizards are the right fit moving forward.”
The extremely loyal Beal insists he wants to stay in Washington with the Wizards. Beal wants to be one of those rare players who spends his entire career with the same franchise.
Lakers Priced Out
Beal should have been an All-Star this year, but got snubbed. He went on a tear after his omission from the All-Star squad, moving into second in overall scoring with 30.5 ppg.
Beal will make $27.8 million next season. The Lakers don’t have enough room to accommodate his hefty contract. They could dump Danny Green and his $15.3 million salary, but that would mean the Lakers are still on the hook for another $12.5 million. Everyone wants Kyle Kuzma, but he doesn’t make much because he’s still on his rookie deal, making $3.5 million/season.
The Lakers would have to shed down to a skeleton crew of rookies and min-veteran contracts to afford Beal. But the trinity of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Beal could create a winning combination and let the Lakers make a legit run at an NBA championship.
New Orleans Pelicans Twist?
The Pelicans have plenty of cap space. They also have plenty of trade bait. The Pels would love to have Zion Williamson team up with Beal. They also have Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday on an up-and-coming young team.
But will Beal be willing to depart DC for the Big Easy? In a short stint in the spotlight, Zion lived up to all the hype after he finally made his NBA debut midseason (after a knee injury in preseason).
“There are several teams, you can say that about all 29 teams, but New Orleans was a team that I’d heard last year had looked into it,” said Charania. “All 29 teams across the league, if you’re trying to win games, including the Lakers, you’re going to have interest in Bradley Beal.”
The Pelicans acquired a boatload of players in the Anthony Davis mega-trade with the Lakers. They’d like to keep Lonzo Ball at point guard, but they could move Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, or draft picks to entice a Beal trade with the Wizards.