Do NOT think about it. Do NOT form your mouth to consider a ‘Paul George-esque’ trade for Bradley Beal.
I can’t believe this has to be said but you can rest assured that every time someone mentions trading Beal I am going to be here to reject that foolishness like Bam Adebayo blocked Jayson Tatum in Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals.
Why on Earth would you remove Beal, a two-time All-Star averaging 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists over his career, from a Wizards team with revived 2020-21 expectations? Most notably thanks to the return of a healthy John Wall. Why?
For any team looking to add a ‘final piece’ to a championship-contending roster, don’t make the same mistake the Clippers did. They were correct in thinking Paul George’s presence was enough to entice Kawhi Leonard to join the 'other' team in Los Angeles. That part was smart.
However, they were as wrong as a broken clock thinking the addition of star power was enough to offset the utter lack of chemistry and absence of a team mentality the Clippers put on display in the playoffs. There’s more to basketball than just throwing out the ball to superior athletes and letting them run wild.
Beal’s chemistry with Wall is unmatched. It can’t be replicated. Trying for pieces to rebuild for the future makes no sense. For the Wizards, the window to win is opening again for now and it’s not guaranteed to stay open much longer. Beal is coming off the best season of his career finishing second in scoring (30.5 points per game) behind James Harden. He also had career-highs in rebounds per game (4.2) and assists per game (6.1).
You don’t move on from THAT guy when he’s primed to deliver on the investment the Wizards have made in Beal. The numbers just don’t make sense when you consider what the Clippers had to give up in order to get Paul George from Oklahoma City.
In acquiring George, the Clippers traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, along with two first-round choices via Miami (2021 and 2023), and OKC obtained the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025. Who does that? And how did that work out for them? It resulted in a second-round failure against the Nuggets and another offseason of questions.
When it’s all said and done, Bradley Beal belongs right where he is right now: In D.C. After years of development and maturation, he is finally in the perfect place to push the Wizards further in the playoffs than they’ve been in since their Eastern Conference semifinal loss to Boston in 2017.
Instead of being the proverbial ‘Robin’ to Wall’s ‘Batman’, Beal is now a Batman in his own right. The Wizards – if Wall is healthy – have two Batmans.
Is that enough to win an NBA championship? Too many other roster questions for that. The Wizards clearly have a lot to prove and we need to see Wall at full strength. But together those two should strike fear into the hearts of the opposition on a nightly basis and for now, that’s enough.