Kyrie Irving infamously mentioned that the Brooklyn Nets needed a third star in order to contend for a chip. Irving probably shouldn’t have stated that, but most people would agree with him. Unsurprisingly, they’ve had internal talks about swinging a trade for all-star snub Bradley Beal. Adding a scorer like Beal to the core of KD and Irving would scare the living shit out of the rest of the East.
The 76ers would be so intimidated that they’d force Ben Simmons to take long-range jumpers in real games. Beal is a walking bucket and is averaging 31 points on 45 percent from the field as the Wizard’s number one option.
When the news broke on Twitter, fans wondered how a trade like this could even happen. After all, he just signed a max extension in October and is coming off of a ridiculous season. We’re not completely sure if Wall will fully heal from his achilles injury, so Beal could continue to be the No. 1 option even when he returns. This would mean that the Wizards should have all of the leverage and a trade wouldn’t happen unless the Nets blew them away with a trade package.
This isn’t necessarily true. The Wizards are currently the 9th seed in the East and most likely won’t receive a top draft prospect nor make the playoffs. Prior to the start of bubble play, the team was five games behind the projected 8-seeded Orlando Magic. Coupled with the team going 4-7 coming out of the All-Star break, it’s safe to say the team is out of contention, barring a miracle.
Even if John Wall comes back at full health, the chances at a good draft pick for the Wizards significantly decreases while still not having a realistic shot at contending unless something wild happens like the top players in the East getting abducted by aliens. This leaves the Wizards in a tough spot because they’d essentially be left in NBA limbo. They recently brought in former Cleveland Browns executive Sashi Brown as their chief planning and operations officer. Brown understands the importance of losing (sorry Browns fans) and this might signal a shift in philosophy for the consistently slightly above-average Wizards. NBA teams around the league should be aware of this and that alone brings down the Wizard’s leverage in potential trades.
So what would Brooklyn have to give up? Speculation suggests that a trade would have to include: LeVert, Dinwiddie and a couple firsts. This honestly seems like a lot to give up
for a fringe all-star on a team that looks like it’s destined to blow everything up. Keeping Dinwiddie is the key here for the Nets. He has proven to be an elite scorer off the bench, is capable of running the offense at a high level and has developed a solid chemistry with DeAndre Jordan.
Caris LeVert is on a new value deal that he signed in the offseason. He’s going to make an average of $16 million over the next three years. LeVert was arguably the Nets best player when healthy in 18-19 and flourished in their lone playoff series where he averaged 26PPG per 36 minutes. He also showed off his potential during the final week of the NBA season prior to the COVID-19 stoppage. LeVert put up his first 50-point game, notched his first triple-double and averaged 29 PPG on 52 percent shooting from the field.
A package featuring LeVert, the promising young center Jarrett Allen, Rodi “Air Latvia” Kurucs and a couple of picks should be enough to pry away Beal. It would also not be surprising to see a 3-team trade with a third center-needy organization that could cough up a first and an expiring deal to make the salaries matchup in exchange for Allen.
Beal would be that third star the Nets need. Brooklyn can present a new environment for him to thrive in, alongside two of the league’s superstars. On the flip side, the Wizards would have a ton of draft capital. They would have a future star in LeVert and have options to pair with John Wall, that is, if the Wizards decide they don’t want to get rid of one of the worst contracts in the league.
BANNER: Bradley Beal tries to score around two Hawks defenders in a 2017 game against Atlanta. PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Allison//Wikimedia Commons