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Bradley Beal's potential All-NBA scenario leads league sources toward trade route

Bradley Beal's potential All-NBA scenario leads league sources toward trade route

Update: Bradley Beal received 34 votes, but was ultimately snubbed from all three 2019 All-NBA teams.

With an All-NBA nod, Bradley Beal and the Wizards would almost immediately find themselves at a crossroads.

The honor would make him eligible for the supermax contract, which could force the Wizards to move the two-time All-Star. The Wizards already handed one of those supermax deals to John Wall. If Beal signed a four-year, $193 million extension, the two guards would gobble up more than two-thirds of the team's salary cap space starting in 2021-22.

Everyone knows of Washington's immediate concern. Wall faces a year-long recovery after suffering a ruptured left Achilles heel in February. Even with a prompt return, the Wizards cannot realistically plan on having the five-time All-Star next season.

Based on the injury and Wall turning 30, Wall's level of effectiveness in 2020-21 remains unclear. Ideally, he looks the part for at least the final two years of the contract.

Hold out for Wall's healthy return and the clock may run out on the two years remaining on Beal's current contract with no guarantee the shooting guard re-signs. Therefore, with the Wizards retooling after a 32-50 season and regardless of the All-NBA result, the answer is clear according to numerous league sources: Trade Bradley Beal for assets and salary cap space.

So where would he go?

That might depend.

Can New Orleans convince the disgruntled big man to reverse course on his trade demands? We'll see if that happens, but the Pelicans' current A, B and C plan involves rolling out Davis, projected No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday next season, according to sources.

How this drama plays out affects the entire NBA off-season. Every team would welcome Davis, but only a few have the realistic assets to acquire one the league's top players. Some franchises stockpiled draft picks and players on rookie contracts for this moment. If the Pelicans keep Davis, a 2020 free agent, those teams must turn elsewhere.

No, that doesn't mean Bradley Beal automatically.

"As good as Bradley Beal is, he isn't Anthony Davis," one GM told NBC Sports Washington. "Beal isn't an alternative to Davis, but to free agency."

Beal has $56 million coming his way over the final two years of his current contract. Signing any of the 2019 free agent headliners would cost much more in terms of dollars and salary cap space.

76ers guard Jimmy Butler, a relative peer of Beal albeit four years older, is in line for a max contract of 5-year, $190 million with Philadelphia or 4-year, $141 with another team.

If there's a trade involving Beal this off-season, logic suggests, from a Wizards perspective, it occurs before or during the June 20 NBA Draft.

Beal's trade value on the current contract will likely never be higher. Since 2019 draft picks would probably be part of any deal, and the new general manager will want to make those selections.

A look at the landscape:

Lakers -- All the Davis trade buzz last season focused on Los Angeles since his camp made it clear that's where he wanted to land. The potential also worked since the Lakers asset class held great appeal. That is until the group largely plateaued during a dysfunctional season, the first Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma or Josh Hart played with LeBron James.

One general manager suggested not to diminish the upside on those players, contending the Lakers still have the best trade assets. "That's what they look like in that environment -- and playing with that guy," the GM told NBC Sports Washington.

If there's a deal with the Lakers, most sources would want Ball involved regardless of any parent distractions from his attention-seeking father, Lavar. "People just don't grasp how good he is," a source said.

Los Angeles owns the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft. One source views Ingram, Kuzma and four for Beal as fair value assuming Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, is cleared medically following a blood clot scare that ended his season prematurely.

Knicks -- New York likely would want to wait for Kevin Durant to sign in free agency as the long-running rumors suggest. Then the question is who gets the second max slot.

Kyrie Irving? Certainly possible. We know the Celtics are out. One source said don't sleep on the Nets getting involved.

Kemba Walker is a New York native. The All-NBA candidate is also someone the Hornets might do whatever it costs to keep.

There's also Beal, who would make a great fit next to a fellow perimeter threat in Durant.

The Knicks' assets include the third pick in 2019, which is a projected tier above the fourth slot since it means landing no less than Duke guard RJ Barrett. New York also has impressive rookie center Mitchell Robinson, point guard Dennis Smith and an unprotected first-round pick from Dallas that projects to convey in 2021.

If the Knicks decline to part with Robinson and three, the Wizards would have to consider Barrett, the top recruit in the 2018 class and Duke's leading scorer, a future All-Star. They might.

Celtics -- The bond between Beal and Jayson Tatum began growing up in St. Louis. They could be connected again if Washington and Boston talk trade.

The Celtics own three first-round selections -- 14, 20, 22 -- in next month's draft along with two former top 5 picks on rookie deals: Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

"Tatum's stock took a hit this season," an Eastern Conference scout said. Others made similar claims during the season as the playmaking forward appeared lost at times playing with Irving. Regardless, Tatum is a talented 21-year-old who went head-to-head against LeBron James in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final.

"Tatum and 22 for Beal? Brown and 20? That's something to consider," the scout said.

The Wizards have plenty to consider over the next few weeks including whether to trade Bradley Beal.

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Jerome Robinson's shot the latest young player success story for the Wizards

Jerome Robinson's shot the latest young player success story for the Wizards

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards have become the land of opportunity, a place where second chances are given to NBA players too young to be considered reclamation projects. 

Shooting guard Jerome Robinson is the latest to be thrown into the mix. He was the 13th overall pick in 2018, but couldn't get minutes with the L.A. Clippers. Now he's in Washington with an opportunity that wasn't there for him when he was at the end of the bench on a title contender.

The Wizards, though, have a place and a role for him and that translated to the biggest shot of his NBA career on Wednesday night, as he made a go-ahead three with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift Washington to a 110-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

“I had a really good look. At that point, when I saw it was wide-open, I had to take it," Robinson said. "At that point you just got to have all the confidence and let it go.”

Robinson sank the three, then on the next possession reeled in a rebound and made two free throws after getting fouled. All within about 10 seconds, he made three plays to give the Wizards the win.

But the shot stands out above all and it was a unique situation for a player of his level of experience. Star shooting guard Bradley Beal passed him the ball and in doing so showed a lot of trust in a player who hasn't proven much at the NBA level.

Robinson, though, didn't look like he was new to the moment. He knocked it down like a pro.

"Jerome didn't hesitate," head coach Scott Brooks said. "He has a tendency to hesitate and I'm telling them, 'he who hesitates doesn’t make shots.' I like that. He caught it, had confidence, he took the shot."

Being too timid with his shots is apparently a thing for Robinson. Brooks wasn't the only one who mentioned it.

"We've been telling him all night...it was a few where he was hesitating. We didn't bring him over here for no reason," Beal said. "If Coach [Scott Brooks] has you on the floor there's a reason you're out here."

“I remember the coaches were telling him [not to hesitate] and you have to shoot if you’re open," forward Rui Hachimura said. "We know he’s a good shooter. The last minutes, the last play, he didn’t hesitate, that’s why I think he made it.”

Robinson, 23, is still trying to build confidence, holding career averages of 36.6 percent shooting from the field and 30.7 percent from three. It is understandable why he would be a little unsure of himself when taking shots.

But after Wednesday, he has reason to believe. The Wizards gave them an opportunity and he seized it.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Bradley Beal trusting Jerome Robinson to win game vs. Nets spoke volumes

Bradley Beal trusting Jerome Robinson to win game vs. Nets spoke volumes

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal had scored 50-plus points in his previous two games. He had 30 on Wednesday night against the Nets, including 17 in the fourth quarter alone. If he chose to dribble his way out of the double-team and launch a hero-ball shot in the closing seconds, no one would have blamed him.

He is a star player having the best stretch of his basketball life. Why wouldn't he take the shot?

Well, he didn't. Instead of trying to win the game himself, Beal saw his teammate, Jerome Robinson, wide open on the wing. Robinson, just 23 and in his second year, hasn't proven much at the NBA level yet despite being a 2018 first round pick.

But he was open and passing to him for the open look made basketball sense, even if it required fighting off the urge to be the alpha dog. Fortunately for Beal and the Wizards, Robinson came through as the unlikely hero, as the Wizards knocked off the Nets, 110-106, to snap a three-game losing streak.

Robinson not only made the three to put the Wizards up two points, he then grabbed a rebound on the next play and sank two free throws to seal the win.

"Big props to Brad, trusting his teammates. That tells you what kind of person he is," Robinson said.

Beal is a two-time All-Star currently second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.1 points per game. But he has long taken pride in being an unselfish player, the type who fits seamlessly into a team-oriented system.

Sometimes that means taking what the defense gives him and Beal felt the Nets' approach dictated his decision. He had Garrett Temple, a scrappy defender, facing him up with Caris LeVert sprinting his way. That left Robinson in space.

"I'm not going to chuck it up from 45 when I've got two, three people running at me," Beal said. "I've got wide open teammates. Win, lose or draw, I'm always going to trust guys who are wide open."

Head coach Scott Brooks pointed out afterward how Beal made a similar play in the game before, when the Wizards lost in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks. At the end of regulation, he passed to rookie Rui Hachimura under the basket and Hachimura was blocked by Robin Lopez.

The results were different, but two games in a row Beal showed faith in a young and inexperienced teammate. Hachimura, though already a standout, is a rookie. Robinson, a second-year player, has yet to find a niche in the NBA and was cast off by the Clippers in a trade just weeks ago.

Also helping the cause on Wednesday was the fact Beal has become a much better playmaker in recent years. This season he is averaging a career-high six assists per game and has improved that number now in four straight years.

Brooks believes he has adapted with All-Star point guard John Wall out due to injuries.

"It was three years ago by an unfortunate injury. John was out [and] missed 41 games that year and last year he missed 50 games. Brad has had a lot of reps [because] eams are going to double team him," Brooks said.

In the middle of a career-best hot streak, a lot of NBA players would have taken the shot. But Beal made the right basketball play and it led to a Wizards win.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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