Despite signing a two-year contract extension late last year, Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal is still considered one of the top trade targets for the NBA’s coming offseason. While some rumors have linked him to playoff contenders, a new report suggests that the Atlanta Hawks — one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams prior to the league’s March 11 hiatus — might have the resources to acquire him.
As explained by Bleacher Report, the Hawks are at a point where they need to surround Trae Young, their fast-rising second-year point guard, with more talent. With Young eligible for a contract extension in the summer of 2021, the Hawks want to ensure they have a talented-enough roster to entice their young star to stay long-term. While the team has the option to let its roster keep improving on its own, the outlet suggested that it could also trade away some of its younger supporting cast to make a move for Beal. Before the NBA suspended its season last month, Beal was the leading scorer for a 24-40 Washington Wizards team that was ninth in the Eastern Conference.
In its hypothetical trade package for Beal, Bleacher Report suggested that Atlanta could trade three of its young wing players — rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, and second-year man Kevin Huerter — as well as veteran center Dewayne Dedmon and a 2021 first-round pick in order to acquire the Wizards star. The outlet stressed that this deal would allow the Hawks to hang on to big men John Collins and Clint Capela, both of whom are considered important parts of the organization’s rebuilding process.
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— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 8, 2020
As for the Wizards, it was pointed out that the team’s lack of young building blocks — outside of rookie forward Rui Hachimura — could be one reason to consider trading Beal. Despite his scoring prowess, the Wizards have only won one out of the 10 games this season in which Beal scored at least 40 points.
“Washington isn’t winning games even with Beal playing at a superstar level. Moving him for three players with All-Star potential would be a great return, especially with a lightly protected first-round pick attached.”
Despite failing to make the All-Star Game this season, Beal has posted career-high numbers in scoring, averaging 30.5 points and adding 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, per Basketball-Reference. Meanwhile, Hunter, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has contributed 12.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Reddish and Huerter also averaged double figures in points, providing outside shooting for a team whose 20-47 record ranks them 14th in the Eastern Conference.