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Bradley Beal is now the NBA’s hottest trade target

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The Washington Wizards guard is putting up big numbers and had past playoff success. But the current Wizards are losing and Beal admitted his patience is limited.

Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards
With James Harden now in Brooklyn, teams could be gearing up for a bidding war to get Bradley Beal.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NBA just saw some big trade news last week with James Harden getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Houston Rockets. The move helps the Nets get a “Big Three” of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and now they are the paper favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Harden was the NBA’s hottest trade target before this season, and now eyes are squarely focused on Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.

Beal is averaging 35 points per game on a 3-8 Wizards team that is second to last in the Eastern Conference. It isn’t likely that Washington will get out of their tough rut, but you never know. That said, most NBA teams are licking their chops, anticipating that sooner or later, the Wizards will realize they’re dead in the water so they’ll have to rebuild, most likely with or around a possibly past-his-prime Russell Westbrook, because he’s on a supermax contract.

Last Monday, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote a column about Beal as a trade target for numerous teams. One team that has come up is the Miami Heat because they were interested in Harden. And as of last Friday, the Heat were still very interested in acquiring Beal, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

O’Connor also wrote that the New Orleans Pelicans could offer the most in a Beal trade because they have multiple future first round picks and want to build a contender around Zion Williamson as soon as possible.

It also seems that other contending teams’ fan sites have a post where they line up their best Beal trade offers.

To be clear, Beal is not available for trade, at least officially. But as long as the Wizards continue to keep losing in the weeks ahead, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Beal traded away so he can play for a contender and so the Wizards can have a fresh start.