There are so many thoughts about Bradley Beal and what we should do with him. It seems like a rather polarizing topic on this website, and it becomes increasingly challenging when you consider the demand he made for a max contract. Let's be honest. If money wasn't so much of a factor, would we be so eager to get rid of him?
The demand to get a max contract was a big hang up for many people on here and understandably so. I would imagine at this point his market value is shrinking, especially with the growing number of injuries that have happened to him. So with that said, what should we do with Beal? Should we trade him? Should we give him a max deal? Or is there something else we should do?
In my opinion, I believe you sign him back, but you don't give him the max. You can give him a contract very similar to what Klay Thompson has made four years, $70 million, but when you sign him back, there is a provision that needs to be made.
Here goes the biggest takeaway you will have from this fanpost. Before we even assess what we should do with him, we need to consider what he means to this team.
There has been so much talk about House of Guards, the best guard combo in the East, etc. Let's stop it.
It's time to think outside the box. Given his own admission of possibly having a career long minutes restriction, maybe the best usage for Bradley Beal is for him to be a permanent 6th man for this team.
What does this do? Well for starters it makes it easier to control his minutes, which may help minimize his injuries (unless of course he gets freakishly elbowed by Marcus Smart). It also gives him a role that he can be effective in.
Before his latest injury, Beal was averaging 17 ppg, 52 FG%, 80% 3 PT%, 3 RPG, 3 APG in 24 mpg in the four games before the Boston game where he got hurt. Realistically this is a very small sample size, but this is the only tangible example we have so far and we will likely get a larger sample size of this once he returns again.
The numbers are impressive and obviously not completely sustainable. But this at least shows that he has the potential to be effective in this role. Let's see how he continues to play.
Another important factor with this move is it stabilizes the bench. For years, the Wizards have had mediocre to sometimes awful bench play. When was the last time the Wizards had a legitimate 6th man? With Beal and Oubre off the bench, you have two productive bench pieces before you even try to sign anyone outside the team or re-sign your free agents. Beal would be a strong candidate for 6th man of the year and can play a role very similar to what James Harden played with OKC years ago, where he came off the bench, but he finished games and was an offensive force.
This move opens up some options on how you can re-construct your team. Regardless if Kevin Durant does or does not come here, you can look at some shooting guard options, and you don't have to spend a ton.
The Wizards can look at a player like Arron Afflalo, who is currently on a two year/$16 million deal with a player option if he opts out (he will likely ask for more). Or the Evan Fournier or Courtney Lee, or even, believe it or not, Jordan Clarkson (I know he's not a great 3 point shooter). And if the Wizards cannot sign a player, they may be able to get other team's assets in a situation where they want to offload salary to pursue free agents.
There are options for that position where Washington doesn't need an elite player at that position that won't break the bank. A player who can shoot the three and play good defense next to Wall could be sufficient enough.
The greatest thing about this is the Wizards are in complete control of Bradley Beal for the foreseeable future. Re-signing him, hoping that no teams try to drive up his price, can put the Wizards in the driver seat.
If Beal shows that he can stay healthy and that he can be a consistent performer, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with moving him into the starting lineup again. But at this point, it may not be the best move for the team.