A ‘Big 3’ in Big D? Beal Would Launch Mavs to Title Contention

Dalton Trigg

Here at DallasBasketball.com, we’ve explored the pipe-dream of Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal finding his way onto the Dallas Mavericks’ roster extensively and on a handful of occasions. Beal’s name has surfaced in rumors yet again, this time with a Brooklyn spin, as the Nets have reportedly had “internal discussions” about ways to acquire Beal in the near future.

With all due respect to the Nets’ strategy, our first reaction when seeing that report was along the lines of, “no duh.” Of course the Nets have discussed ways to acquire Beal, who was averaging career-highs with 30.5 points and 6.1 assists per game before the NBA season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re willing to bet that a lot of teams have had similar internal discussions, including the ‘always-opportunistic’ Dallas Mavericks.

As good as Tim Hardaway Jr. has been as the starting shooting guard next to Luka Doncic this season, one can imagine the kind of impact it would have to plug Beal into that role. The dynamic duo of Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis is already potent and will always be a threat in the Western Conference if healthy, but adding Beal to that mix and creating a new ‘Big 3’ would thrust Dallas into title contention immediately and for the foreseeable future.

After the report of the Nets’ desire to acquire Beal came out, Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein quickly responded in an attempt to smother the ember before it turned into a full-blown fire.

“There are no Beal sweepstakes, and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards,” said Bartelstein in a recent phone interview.

“Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington, and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.”

As good as that may sound to the Wizards’ PR department, there are two things that a lot of people will overlook here: 1) The way a player feels at the time they sign an extension doesn’t always last, as we’ve seen on numerous occasions across the NBA landscape in recent years, and 2) A player’s agent doesn’t decide whether said player will be traded or not. In this case, that decision will be left to the Wizards’ front office.

The Mavs might not have the best trade package to offer the Wizards for Beal, but do we really think they had the best trade package to offer for Kristaps Porzingis either? If you recall, the Brooklyn Nets and a handful of other teams had a lot of interest in trading for Porzingis too, but never really got the opportunity. It was all about the timing, and Mavs’ general manager Donnie Nelson took full advantage, as he usually does.

Even if the Wizards don’t currently plan on trading Beal anytime soon, things can change in a blink, and we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled and ears open when the NBA Draft arrives (whenever that may be). Dallas owns its own first round pick this year, and although they can’t trade that pick outright, they could, in theory, draft a player, then turn around and include that player in a trade. 

The Mavs also have young talent on their roster at great prices. Jalen Brunson, who has shown flashes of brilliance at times when taking on an increased role, is still on his second-round rookie contract. Guys like Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Delon Wright and Maxi Kleber are all on long-term, team-friendly deals. Tim Hardaway Jr., who, as mentioned earlier, has had a career year playing next to Doncic, could be a nice temporary plug-in piece for the Wizards on an expiring deal if Hardaway Jr. decides to opt-in to the final year of his contract with the Mavs (despite both sides having interest in a long-term contract extension, as Mark Cuban told us earlier this season).

With the NBA seemingly inching closer and closer to resuming its season, there is still so much that could happen between now and the offseason. The Mavs, looking like they’ll make the playoffs for the first time in three years, still have a lot of work to do on the court before they attempt to make any summer upgrades, but make no mistake, they’re doing their homework early.

So, yes, the Nets have had internal discussions about how they can add one of the best shooting guards in the league to their team, but we can guarantee you that they’re far from the only ones. The only question is, which team will be fortunate enough to catch lighting in a bottle when and if that time comes?

"(We're) never 'patient,'" said Donnie Nelson on our Mavs Step Back Podcast in an exclusive interview.

"Because we want to be as good as we can be... yesterday. ... We're always working phones, looking for every angle. ... It's 'turn over every rock,' and then turn it over three more times just to make sure."

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