The Bradley Beal and John Wall era in DC is officially over after the Washington Wizards chose to send Wall and a future pick all the way to the Houston Rockets in exchange for former MVP Russell Westbrook.
Beal and Westbrook are now poised to form one of the most electric backcourts in the NBA, with a handful of young talents on the Wizards roster to compliment their tenacity. Although the new-look Wizards should give the Washington faithful something to cheer about, the team can still opt to ship out Beal even before this experiment unfolds.
There have been crazier things that has happened recently in the NBA, and Washington totally revamping their backcourt and letting Beal go won’t be completely surprising. If that happens, here are three of the best possible destinations for the two-time All-Star.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
One of the teams that have been linked with Bradley Beal this offseason is the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have been in the process of overhauling their roster composition after they picked up former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey as their president of basketball operations and former NBA champion coach Doc Rivers to be their head tactician coming into the 2020-21 season. In terms of roster spots though, they haven’t made the biggest of splashes and Beal coming in might be the one they’ve been waiting for.
The Sixers have been missing a piece or two for the past few seasons, and Beal can certainly fill in that void. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have grown into bona fide All-Stars in their time in Philadelphia, but adding a potent scorer like Beal would definitely make things interesting in the City of Brotherly Love. They did add shooter Seth Curry after they traded for him in exchange of lockdown defender in Josh Richardson, but Beal’s ability to put the ball in the rim is one that would undoubtedly make the Sixers more of a threat.
Beal is coming off his best scoring season yet after averaging 30.5 points per contest in 2019-20. Teaming him up with a facilitator like Simmons and a post threat like Embiid could be the recipe for success for Rivers and the Sixers.
2. Denver Nuggets
Another team who are in need of a true scorer like Bradley Beal is the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets shocked the world last season when they clawed their way out from two 3-1 holes to make it all the way to the WCF. Even though they ultimately fell short against eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers, the young Nuggs proved to be one of the most promising young teams in the league.
With that said, adding Beal would definitely elevate them to true title contenders. They also lost a key starter in their impressive playoff run in Jerami Grant, who opted to move to the Detroit Pistons. Torrey Craig is also now gone after signing with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The departure of those two definitely gives enough space for Beal to squeeze himself into the Nuggets roster.
Just like in Philly, Denver has one of the best duos in the league in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Inserting Beal into the mix definitely adds some depth to Denver, as he could provide instant spark offensively. Gary Harris and Will Barton’s minutes will definitely take a hit, but managing the playing time of the two should definitely be worth it considering what Beal brings to the table.
1. Miami Heat
Obviously, a more realistic approach Bradley Beal and the Wizards can do is to test out the new duo in DC with Westbrook first and cross this trade bridge at the trade deadline or after the season unfolds. Considering that, one of the hottest suitors for Beal come the 2021 offseason is the Miami Heat.
Just like a lot of teams in the league, the Heat are waiting on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s decision if he will sign an extension with the Bucks before making any big moves. As it stands, with the two-time MVP leaning towards signing a five-year supermax deal with Milwaukee, the Heat are reportedly saying that they will put their efforts to landing Beal instead.
It’s definitely going to be interesting how this plays out with the amount of young talent in Miami right now. They would have to let go of key pieces to grab Beal though, but with what the 27-year old is capable of, any deal to acquire him should be worth it.
The Heat were two games away from winning it all in 2019-20, so plugging an All-Star like Beal definitely increases their chances. Adding a 30-point-per-game scorer to a line up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo is quite a scary sight. Even if they have to part ways with their young scorers like Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson in the process, Beal taking his talents to South Beach should definitely rock the NBA world.