The Washington Wizards finished 2022-23 with a 35-47 record for the second consecutive season while remaining on the outside looking in of the postseason. Washington has made the playoffs just once over the last five seasons, begging serious questions as to whether it’s time for the franchise to embrace a full rebuild.
If the Wizards do feel their roster is long overdue for a reboot, then star Bradley Beal is arguably the top name to draw trade interest from the rest of the league. Beal, who will turn 30 next month, has been consistently name-dropped in trade rumors despite him being vocal about wanting to stay in Washington. Last season, Beal averaged 23.2 points per game in 40 appearances for the Wizards, proving that he can be an impactful veteran for a team on the cusp of contention.
Beal isn’t getting any younger and if he decides that a chase for a ring is his top priority, trading him away to the right team could be in his best interest as well as Washington's. Here’s a look at a few trade ideas for the Wizards star.
Magic get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, 2023 first-round pick (via Bulls)
The name of the game for the Wizards is getting Beal’s contract off their books, and in return, they’d get another first-rounder in the 2023 draft while adding interesting young pieces in Fultz and Isaac. If neither pans out, then Fultz is officially a free agent in 2024 while the oft-injured Isaac can test free agency in 2025. By that time, Washington will likely be playing for ping-pong balls to draft a top-tier prospect.
The Magic, led by reigning Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero, add a veteran piece to speed up their timeline and potentially contend for a playoff spot sooner rather than later.
Knicks get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, 2024 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick (via Pistons)
Washington gets a promising young cornerstone in Barrett, whose defense and two-way potential present an intriguing option to build with for the future. Most importantly, they get a few draft picks to build for the future while being able to offload Fournier’s salary for cap flexibility if needed. The Knicks, who were clearly outmatched offensively by the Jimmy Butler-led Miami Heat, get a bonafide scorer to pair with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.
Mavericks get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr., 2023 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, 2026 first-round pick
Do the Mavericks officially bite the bullet and admit the Kyrie Irving trade was a swing-and-miss? If so, they could allow the point guard to depart via free agency and swap Bullock, Hardaway Jr., and a trio of future draft picks to pair Beal with Luka Doncic. The clear priority for Dallas is to give Doncic a go-to No. 2 option, and Beal would give the Mavericks a solid option as a perimeter defender as well.
For Washington, Bullock, and Hardaway Jr. present veteran options to plug into the rotation, but most importantly they swing for a haul of draft capital that should pay dividends down the line. Note: the 2023 first-round pick can only be traded away after draft night, so Dallas would essentially be selecting the Wizards’ prospect for them this year.