It's clear that the Wizards need to start over and trading John Wall and Bradley Beal is the way to jumpstart that process. The Open Floor podcast considers how Washington should go about making the deals that will move their two stars and spark the rebuild.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Andrew Sharp: If the Wizards should trade Bradley Beal, and I think they should eventually, it would be insane for them to try and use Beal to dump John Wall elsewhere. And it's my understanding that they don't want to do that, but we'll see how long that last.
Ben Golliver: Mechanically, though, it would be very, very difficult to do that because their combined salary is so big that you have to be taking back something in almost any circumstance. And that something coming back if you're the Wizards you would want it to be as little long-term commitments as possible. You would want it to be as pure of a salary dump as possible if you were going to pursue this thing, and I just think that's a very, very, tricky type of trade to manufacturer.
Sharp: Well, not only that but if you're making a team take Wall on that's going to cut their the assets they're sending you in half. And if you're flipping Beal you want to maximize whatever you're getting.
Golliver: You're not getting any assets. The asset is you don't have to pay Wall.
Sharp: And not only that, teams are going to say, "All right, we will take Wall, but instead of sending you three picks we're going to send you two picks now or one pick and one young player." And it's like that's not the right way to approach a Beal trade. If you're if you're trading him away you want to maximize the return you can get for just him and then turn around and figure out what you want to do with Wall. And again, I think that's the direction they're going to go.
Golliver: Slow down though, if you trade Wall and Beal you think you're getting multiple picks back in that deal?
Sharp: Not if you trade Wall and Beal because some team is going to say look, "If we're taking Wall we're giving you maybe one asset" or "So we're doing you a huge favor," and that's not the way that they should be dealing.
Golliver: I don't think you're getting anything back of value if you make that deal. So that's why you're saying if you just trade Beal by himself you're probably getting two, three, four quality assets whether it's picks or young players in that deal. And so, what you're suggesting is you're pretty much stuck with Wall, wait it out if you do trade Beal. He's going to be the lever that gets you to the most promising rebuild. Trading him and just maximizing his total value of a la the Paul George trade, get whatever you possibly can in that kind of a deal. That's how you want to go forward.
I think there's a lot of sense of that. But what's the timing on that? What's your preferred timing if you do trade Beal? Obviously, I think the first answer would be never because you love Beal. When do you want to do the Beal trade? Would you like to get out in front of it this summer? Would you want to have the trade deadline, next summer? What's your idea?
Sharp: Well, I would have been open to moving him this summer just to get out in front of what feels inevitable. But trade him as soon as you can while the rest of the league seems to think that the title in 2020 is up for grabs and the picks I would be seeking are like a couple years down the line. And honestly we have this window right now where there are 10 teams that think they can win the title, and see if you can exploit that somehow, and see if you can get a couple of those picks in the 2020s because half the league has apparently stopped valuing those first-round picks.
So that would be my goal for a Beal return: get a couple future assets a couple of years down the line. I do not want another pick in next year's draft because that draft class is pretty brutal already as you look up and down at who's going to be in it. But that should be doable and the nice thing about Beal is while I was a little bit worried about them not trading him this summer and what that could do to his value, Beal's game fits so well on so many different contenders around the NBA he should be able to retain good value whenever they deal him. And even if they do end up waiting until next summer, he's a guy that a lot of teams can imagine sliding in pretty seamlessly to their roster. And I think that bodes well.
Golliver: The thirst for Beal in the Western Conference should be very, very, very overwhelming. I mean, you've got teams like Denver, Utah. I could even see Oklahoma City potentially being interested. You can just go right down the list of these teams. I mean, if I was in San Antonio I would be interested. The Lakers, I think that they don't really have anything left to trade, but I mean they would kill for a guy like Bradley Beal so there should definitely be a strong market. And there should be a strong market in the Eastern Conference too, but what you're describing all these teams jockeying for like a leg up. I think that Beal represents that leg up.
Sharp:And so we'll see how that shakes out over the next 12 months, but I definitely think just in general league wide, even beyond my little Wizards sphere here in D.C., Beal is kind of a big wildcard and maybe the next domino to fall as we forecast where the NBA is headed, and then the Wizards can turn around and address Wall. And we'll see how that ends as well.