As rumors and speculation start to ramp up, Bradley Beal has not asked the Washington Wizards for a trade, The Athletic's Shams Charania and Fred Katz reported Tuesday.
After James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, many expected Beal to become the next disgruntled star to want to move on to green pastures. However, sources with knowledge of the situation told Charania and Katz that Beal has not indicated he plans to ask for a trade and the Wizards don't plan to deal the 27-year-old star.
If and when Beal does ask for a trade, the Warriors will be able to offer Washington one of the most enticing packages, one centered around rookie center James Wiseman and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 top-three protected first-round pick, which becomes unprotected in 2022. A deal with Wiseman and the Timberwolves' pick would allow the Wizards to start a true build centered around Wiseman and two of the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft. (The Wizards are 4-12 and appear headed for a top lottery spot along with the Timberwolves.)
The Warriors love Wiseman and believe he can become a truly transcendent center. But Steph Curry is about to turn 33 and the Warriors have to do all they can to maximize what is left of the two-time MVP's prime. Contending for titles while simultaneously building a bridge to the future was a great idea on paper, but it's not as easy as it sounds.
With Klay Thompson missing the entire season with a torn right Achilles, Curry will see two years of his prime go by in which he wasn't a realistic player in the title conversation.
Should Beal eventually sour on the Wizards' situation, the Warriors will have to think long and hard about what is most important to them: Helping Curry contend for titles while still in his prime, or building the next version of a Warriors dynasty around Wiseman?
For now, that's not a question the Warriors have to answer. Beal still wants to win with the team that drafted him. But the Wizards are 4-12 and show no real signs of turning it around to make a playoff push.
Recent NBA history suggests Beal eventually will ask for a ticket out of the nation's capital. When he does, the Warriors will be one of the Wizards' first phone calls. But that's a story for another day.