And so does every other team in the NBA — including the Washington Wizards.
The headline might as well have been written as “NBA team wants excellent player.”
But reality should sink in for Brooklyn, if it hasn’t already. Teams often float the idea of acquiring players — and most of the ideas never go beyond a phone call, if it even gets to that point.
Beal signed a two-year contract extension with the Wizards for a situation that Brooklyn cannot offer — to be the primary option on a team.
His agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed that “there are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards. Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.”
Beal has talked about his situation in the nation’s capital ad nauseam — he’s talked about how rare it is to maintain loyalty to a single franchise, and how much he’s grown as a go-to scorer with John Wall sidelined.
All of that would go out the window if he shared the floor with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — two ball dominant, elite scorers who might have their own issues finding ways to co-exist on the court.
The fit on the court could be figured out, though. Durant fit perfectly alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to assume an Irving-Beal-Durant trio would work out just fine.
But getting Beal to Brooklyn is something the Nets front office likely doesn’t have the capability of doing at the moment.
To woo Washington’s front office — to even start a conversation — we can speculate Tommy Sheppard will want a young player with considerable upside.
Right now, as Albert Lee pointed out, the Nets would probably form a package around Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie.
In the Eastern Conference, depending on the season, LeVert and Dinwiddie might be able to sneak onto an All-Star team.
Before suffering an injury (albeit for a very short stretch), LeVert averaged close to 20 points per game, showcasing an improved touch around the basket and borderline elite pull-up 3-point shot. There were talks of him representing the Nets at the All-Star game — and at 25-years-old, he’s got plenty of time to improve and reach that ceiling.
Dinwiddie has become a highly productive combo-guard, averaging roughly 21 points and 7 assists per game. He’s become notorious for his out-of-the-box suggestions — like allowing fans to choose his next NBA destination via a GoFundMe fundraiser — but his talent is what got him to the dance, so to speak.
But as interesting as they are, a package centered around Dinwiddie and LeVert shouldn’t be enough to land a player like Beal.
We’ll spare you the in-depth statistical breakdown, but his age shouldn’t be overlooked. Beal is 26 years old — not anywhere near the prime of his career, averaging over 30 points per game.
Players like Beal don’t grow on trees. As far as shooting guards go, there’s James Harden — and then there’s Beal. A1 and A2.
If the Nets called Houston and offered Dinwiddie and LeVert for Harden, Daryl Morey would break the record for fastest time in hanging up a phone. There’s no reason why Sheppard’s reaction won’t be the same.
Washington isn’t in a desperate situation — where Beal has gone full Jimmy Butler and is forcing his way out of town. It’s the opposite, actually. He’s under a new contract and has publicly, on-record expressed his desire to stay in Washington for the rest of his career.
Could that change? Sure. Losing, missing the playoffs, and being surrounded by developing players isn’t an ideal situation to be in for any player, let alone a player of Beal’s caliber. If it gets to that point, then the Wizards might look at a LeVert-Dinwiddie package and consider it a win. Trading a disgruntled player for two players on the cusp of becoming All-Stars isn’t the worst possible deal in the world.
Washington is far from that scenario. Beal wants to stay in D.C. — and even if he wanted out, the Nets don’t have what it takes to get the wheels on a deal turning.
Other teams will continue to monitor Beal’s situation in Washington, and that’s understandable. Teams looking to win now will constantly look to rebuilding teams with stars, knowing that the player isn’t getting the shine he deserves, and, frankly, might be sick of losing.
By virtue of being on a rebuilding team, Beal will be on the list of players to watch. But that doesn’t mean a deal will happen — or that it’s even a realistic possibility for a team like Brooklyn.
For now, Sean Marks may continue to dream about Beal in Brooklyn — heck, it even rolls off the tongue — but turning that dream into a real press conference, with Beal holding a “No. 3” Nets jersey, will take a lot more than what the Nets can currently offer.