On June 14th, reports surfaced that the Wizards could potentially look to move Bradley Beal if they decide to rebuild, and they’d remain in contact with his representatives to make that happen. Beal has a no-trade clause, so he was able to waive any potential trade that would send him to a new team.
ESPN Sources: As rivals begin reaching out to the Wizards to explore possibility of trading for All-Star guard Bradley Beal, president Michael Winger and Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports are staying in close contact to discuss scenarios presented to franchise.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 14, 2023
Just four days later, Beal is now a member of the Phoenix Suns, and he’ll form a core four along with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton. The trade hasn’t been finalized, but the reports that have come out suggest that the trade looks like this:
BREAKING: The Washington Wizards are finalizing a trade to send All-Star G Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns, sources tell ESPN. Beal’s waiving his no-trade to form a new Big 3 with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Teams are still working thru framework, but Beal is headed to Suns. pic.twitter.com/0lQrSh370q— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2023
That’s an incredibly talented crew on paper, but there are certainly questions that they’ll have to answer. Can Beal and KD stay healthy? Who else will play alongside them? Will the departures of Chris Paul and Monty Williams help Ayton? Frank Vogel certainly has a tall task ahead of him, but he has coached players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Paul George before, so he shouldn’t have any issues with coaching star power. His defensive expertise should help them have success on that end of the floor, though adding some talented players on that side of the ball won’t hurt. Offensively, they shouldn’t have any issues with three All-Stars that aren’t ball dominant players. This team has the potential to win a ring.
For the Wizards, this move all but guarantees that they’ll finally shift into rebuild mode. Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma have player options that they’ll likely decline, so both could enter unrestricted free agency in less than two weeks. Washington has been stuck in mediocrity for a long time, but they’ll likely be forced to enter into a hard rebuild with this move. There’s plenty of guys on this roster that could benefit tremendously from the fallout of this move. So let’s go through how this trade will impact fantasy hoops next season and beyond!
Beal’s fantasy value in 9-cat leagues has declined over the past two seasons, as his usage has gone down. His usage may decrease playing alongside KD and Book, but he should still have the ball enough to be effective. He averaged 5.4 assists per game last season and has averaged over six assists in two of his last four seasons. He should still be able to average 20 points per game, but we may also see him set a new career-high for assists. His value will take a hit, but he should be able to do enough across the board to limit how far his production drops.
Book is a sneaky winner from this trade, mainly because of CP3’s departure. In the last two seasons before Paul joined the Suns, Booker averaged 6.5 and 6.8 assists per game. His dimes took a hit when Paul arrived, but he may have a chance to be more of a playmaker again. Beal has only played 90 games over the last two seasons, while KD has only been available for 103. There’s a decent chance that Booker has some stretches as the lone superstar, which should give him some time as one of the top contributors in fantasy basketball.
Still one of the most talented players in the league, Durant can still contribute elite fantasy value when he’s on the court. Unfortunately, his availability has been limited since he left Golden State. Hopefully having Beal and Booker will help take some pressure off of him during the regular season so he can play more games and be healthy for the playoffs. His career-low for minutes per game in a season is 33, but it would be beneficial for them if they can set a new mark for him. Sacrificing a few minutes per game could help him play more than the average of 34.5 games that he’s been able to play in over the four seasons since he left the Warriors.
The main thing here for Ayton isn’t the arrival of Beal. Ayton seemed to have issues with both CP3 and Monty Williams, but he’ll get a fresh start with both gone now. There’s still a chance that Ayton gets dealt, but nothing appears imminent. Frank Vogel‘s defense will be more effective with a better defensive center than Ayton, which could lead to Ayton being moved. As of now, Ayton should continue to hover around top-50 value and adding Beal into the fold shouldn’t impact his value much.
As of now, Payne is the only true point guard on this roster. There’s plenty of time for them to address that, but even if they don’t, Payne may not have the starting job. When CP3 missed time over the last two seasons, Payne proved that he could be a dominant streaming option that can hand out dimes in bunches. Unfortunately, that’s the extent of his upside next season.
In seven starts last season, Goodwin averaged 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He won’t start here, but he’ll have a much better chance at a consistent role than he had last season for Washington. He could be a top-150 player if he gets 20 minutes per game off the bench, and he has proven that he can be a great source of steals.
First things first. CP3 won’t suit up for the Wizards. It isn’t official, and Washington has said they’d love to keep him. However, they also said they’d work with him to find a home with a contending team. Current reports suggest that he could end up with the Clippers, though the Lakers are also a logical destination. He had the worst fantasy season of his career last year, when he finished 33rd in 9-cat scoring, per Basketball Monster.. Even if he’s just a shell of his former self, Paul could still end up being a top-50 player in fantasy and a strong source of assists and steals.
Porzingis has always been an incredible fantasy talent, and he’s coming off one of the best seasons of his career. 65 games played. A career-high 23.2 points per game. He could pick up his $36 million player option, but there’s a real chance that he opts out and finds a new home to avoid going through a rebuild. It’s unclear where that could be, but if he leaves, there will be plenty of usage to go around for whoever is left.
Picking up his player option this summer would mean that he makes $13 million next season. He should fetch way more than that on the open market, so it’s all but a guarantee that he becomes a free agent. Kuz has never been a great fantasy player because he doesn’t contribute much defensively, and his shooting percentages aren’t great. It’s unclear what his value will actually look like until we know what team he’s playing for, but the main thing we know now is that he likely won’t be a Wizard.
Davis had a disappointing rookie season and spent most of it in the G-League. Over the last few weeks, he got to play big minutes as Washington worked to improve their lottery odds. He showcased his scoring upside, but he did so with poor efficiency, which isn’t surprising for a rookie. Assuming Washington goes all in on their rebuild, Davis should get a large role next season. In points leagues, Davis should be a solid option, but he may be more of a liability in category leagues.
He’s a top tier 3-point shooter, but Kispert hasn’t showcased an ability to do much else for fantasy managers. He hit 23 triples over his last six games of the season, and in a similarly large offensive role this season, he should be worth rostering in 12-team leagues. His category potential is limited because he doesn’t contribute much outside of triples, but he could see a huge offensive role next season.
Avdija came into the league with so much upside, but it hasn’t really turned into much through his first three years in the league. Assuming the events that we expect to happen actually unfold, Avdija should play a massive role and start next season consistently. He was pretty average across 40 starts last season, but he should play a more important role next season than he ever has.
The best season of Morris’ career was his last season in Denver, when he finished 120th in 9-cat per-game scoring, according to Basketball Monster. If he is still around as part of their rebuild, Morris could see one of the highest usage rates of his career on a bad team, which could lead to a top-100 fantasy finish for him. A lot would have to go his way this summer, but he should be in for a solid season.
He was just a role player for the Suns and has been for his entire career. Even if he plays a large role on a bad Wizards team, he won’t be much of a fantasy contributor.
Before this trade, it seemed like a lock for Washington to take Anthony Black, assuming he was available. With a team built around Beal, Porzingis and Kuzma, they really needed a point guard. Now, they aren’t trying to build a contender quickly. They’re trying to build one a few years down the road. They’ll go best player available, and whoever they take will get a chance to play big minutes immediately. The 8th pick will have a great chance to contribute fantasy value as a rookie and finish on the All-Rookie First Team.