As reported today by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Washington Wizards are sending Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round picks, and pick swaps.
The full trade package:
- Bradley Beal
- Jordan Goodwin
- Chris Paul
- Landry Shamet
- 2024 & 2026 pick swaps
- Potentially six second-round picks (per Bobby Marks of ESPN)
This trade was inevitable. Once Michael Winger took over, he made it clear that the Wizards were going in a different direction. Gone are the days of peddling in the ocean of mediocrity. Winger wants to build a contender the right way, and it all starts by rebuilding.
I understand that the return for Beal is underwhelming. He’s worth so much more than salary fillers and second-round picks. However, that’s what the no trade clause does. The NTC handcuffed the Wiz in negotiations, forcing them to take a deal that didn’t provide equal return for their star player.
Essentially, Beal met with three teams this weekend: Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Miami. Once the Suns became his choice, he called up Winger and told him that it was Phoenix and Phoenix only. Even though Miami had a better offer on the table, Beal would no longer waive his no trade clause for them, so Winger and Dawkins couldn’t take that deal.
Once it became apparent that the Suns’ best offer consisted of salary fillers and some late-round picks, there was nothing more the Wiz could do. It was either take the salary cap relief and draft picks, or hold Beal hostage until the trade deadline and hope for a better deal. At that point, the best option was to take the deal and move on.
With this move, the Wizards save $150+ million in cap space from 2024-2026. Paul and Shamet are only on the books for this upcoming season, and then can be cut without being owed any money the following year. So, in terms of salary cap relief, this is a huge win for Washington.
It was reported by Chris Haynes that the Wizards would like to keep Chris Paul, but are willing to work with him to find a trade partner if the future Hall of Fame PG wishes to go to a contender. Haynes reported that the LA Clippers would show immediate interest. This is another win for the Wiz. They can get back more expiring salaries for Paul, and possibly pick up some more draft capital in return to make this additional move worthwhile.
The real loss here is draft capital. Washington had reported offers on the table from Miami (two first-round picks) and Milwaukee (one first-round pick), but had to take the offer with zero first-rounders.
Beal and his agent played the Wizards. Plain and simple. They knew Tommy and Ted were negotiating from a position of little power last offseason and used it to their benefit. They knew Brad forcing a trade was very likely, a main reason for adding the no trade clause. Now, less than a year later, they used that power to force their way out. Crazy how the world works.
Tommy Sheppard may be gone, but his series of stupid decisions will haunt the Wizards for years to come. I’m just glad that he’s gone and we now have a competent front office in line. Winger and Dawkins seem like they have a plan, and I’m here for it.
One thing to note: the moves are not done. We could very well see a bunch of Wizards on expiring deals get moved prior to the draft this Thursday, including:
- Chris Paul
- Landry Shamet
- Monte Morris
- Delon Wright
Contending teams could covet all of these guys as potential bench pieces. It’s possible Washington elects to hold onto these players until the trade deadline, but a trade for each of these guys is very possible.
Let me know your thoughts on the Beal trade in the comments below.
And for more perspective on the Bradley Beal trade, check out yesterday's Bleav in Wizards podcast with Matt Modderno and Osman Baig of Bullets Forever. Matt attempted to explain why this was the anti-Tommy Sheppard trade and could actually be the right trade to have made.