FanPost

How do we "contend" with a Beal supermax?


I have no interest in debating the merits of the extension. We can pretty much all agree he will spend most, if not all, of this next contact considerably overpaid. But I'm moving forward with this as a given, Beal will get the supermax and provide all-star level numbers, at least over the first few years of the deal.

So with this reality, are we just stuck in Beal purgatory for the next five years? Or is there a path to "contention" (for argument's sake I'll consider contention 50+ wins and a top 4 seed)?

I'm not sure the answer, but I think the best blueprint is to try to follow what the Bulls, and to a lesser extent the Suns, have done. The Bulls, Suns, and Wizards all started with an imperfect cornerstone. An all-star player who was good but not great. These are Beal, Lavine, and Booker. Looking at the Bulls, they then added another solid all-star level player in Vucevic, not unlike Porzingis who we added. Then they went and gota 3rd all-star in Derozen, and a couple high level role players (Caruso and Ball), added in some mediocre rookie contracts (White, Williams, and Ayo) and health permitting they looked relatively competitive. They won't reach that top 4 threshold I mentioned, but they were the #1 seed before Ball and Caruso went down so imo they qualify. The Suns model veers a little off our course, but they had Booker and two real solid 2 way guys in Ayton and Bridges before they added CP3.

In both cases, you had a mediocre core that wasn't necessarily headed anywhere (the Suns were young but still they were sporting a Wizardsesque .466 winning % and had just missed on Doncic and Trae and their chance at a transformational star). They both added what was perceived to be another flawed star, but the value those guys added was far greater than expectations. CP3 and Derozen allowed other players to play more natural roles and get the most out of their skillsets and the teams took off as a result.

So my question is, can the Wizards add someone like this? Can they find someone who helps Beal find greater efficiency in a smaller or easier role? The Bulls had cap room with smaller deals for the stars, that's a luxury we will not have. But the Suns got CP3 for a 1st and filler (Oubre and Rubio), we do have those things. Could they use a young player or two (Kispert, Deni, Rui), a pick or two (this year's selection for sure), and a contract (Kuzma, KCP) to acquire that 3rd guy? Would the Raptors send FVV or Siakam? Would the Thunder send SGA, or the Spurs send Dejounte Murray? I just wrote a whole different fan post about the potential break up of the Jazz, maybe Donovan Mitchell is an option.

And if we did acquire one of those players, is that team a contender? Is SGA, Beal, KCP, Deni, KP, Rui, Gafford and some free agent adds good enough to compete? Again we wouldn't have the cap room to go get a Lonzo Ball, we would need to fill in the roster with some cheaper options.

I'm not sure that is a contender, but it could be. Also it's not clear any of those guys will become available, but if they do I hope we pursue them. Because as flawed as that solution may be, the alternative of trotting out Beal and KP and Kuzma to 40 win seasons, adding a 10-15 pick and trying again the next year, that approach defines the NBA's treadmill.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.