The floundering Wizards are reportedly ready to sell.
Their most attractive trade piece is 25-year-old guard Bradley Beal. Beal is coming off his first All-Star appearance and his contract isn’t too prohibitive.
I know what you may be thinking: Go get him, Elton! There’s no question the idea of adding a player like Beal would give Brand’s squad a loaded roster. If you add Beal to Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Sixers could make serious noise.
Before you get too excited about this idea, let’s see how logical it actually is.
Theoretically, the Sixers could make it work money wise — at least for this season. If the team were to send Markelle Fultz and Wilson Chandler to the Wizards for Beal (more on the actual compensation part later) that deal would work financially. The Sixers have a $2,526,840 trade exception from trading Dario Saric, according to Spotrac. The issue would occur in the seasons going forward.
Beal still has two years on his deal after this season. His cap number is over $27 million in 2019-20 and over $28 million the following season. Butler will be a free agent this offseason and with the way he’s looked so far, the Sixers will have to pony up.
Simmons will also be eligible for a max extension this summer. If he agrees to a deal, the extension will kick in during the 2020-21 season, the last year of Beal’s deal. With Butler likely making somewhere around $37 million annually on his new contract, Embiid making north of $29 million and Beal over $28 million, it makes this scenario less feasible but definitely not impossible.
The NBA’s salary cap is “soft” so the Sixers could become a luxury tax team. There are a couple questions that would need to be answered. Would Sixers ownership be willing to become a luxury tax team? Josh Harris has implied in the past that they would be. The other question: Is Beal the guy you want to go over the luxury tax for? He might be.
The actual compensation is going to be the other sticking point. Fultz and Chandler make the money match but you’d most certainly have to throw in the 2021 unprotected Miami first and possibly more, like Zhaire Smith or Landry Shamet. Chandler has value as an expiring contract and draft picks/young players will certainly appeal to an organization looking to blow things up.
But then you have to wonder if Washington would have any actual interest in Fultz. Putting aside his struggles for a second, the Wizards still have John Wall. Of course the aforementioned report names Wall as a player they’re trying to move but that could be difficult with the pricy extension Wall recently signed. Wall and Fultz would be an untenable backcourt situation.
Is it possible that Brand could pull the trigger on a deal for Beal? Sure, but even if the Sixers have enough financial flexibility to make it work, they may not be able to offer enough compensation.
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