Is it worth trading Beal to get rid of Wall's contract?

Ben Krimmel
July 18, 2019 - 12:59 pm

After a fifty loss season, a partial roster rebuild, and the firing of their long-time president of basketball operations, many wondered if it was finally time for the Washington Wizards to completely wipe the slate clean.

If ever there was a time to jump into a calendar year of remodeling, this offseason seems to be the time. Most of the NBA is flux, superstars are throwing their weight around to play where they want, and the balance of power seems to be shifting with superteams breaking up.

So what would a clean slate for Washington look like?

If the Wizards want to get back to neutral, they will need to trade injured 28-year-old point guard John Wall and his poison chalice-like 'supermax' contract. What might that cost? Likely the price will be the last valuable asset they have on their roster: All-Star guard Bradley Beal

Barry Jackson is reporting in the Miami Herald this option is out there with the Miami Heat interested in taking on Wall's massive contract if they could also acquire Beal. The reason being Beal, who will be a free agent in the summer of 2021, allows Miami for flexibility to sign a max free agent that summer, whereas adding a player like Chris Paul would not. 

Of course, there is some skepticism about this being a real deal.

"It's just too good to be true." Eric Bickel said on The Sports Junkies. "I don't believe the story. I don't believe it's possible. Why would the Heat do that?"

While the Heat's salary cap situation and lack of draft picks to offer the Wizards to complicate the deal, the question becomes: Would a tabula rasa be worth giving up a 26-year-old star?

It appears Washington isn't interested in this idea at this time. Wizards interim general manager Tommy Sheppard told The Athletic's Ben Standig dealing Beal has "never crossed our mind" and said he is a key piece of the team's plans.

"Bradley is somebody we’re building around. He’s a tremendous player, a tremendous person," Sheppard said. "He’s been involved with everything we’re doing in the draft, free agency. We need his opinion. We want this team to be a reflection of what he is all about. We kind of came up with a slogan, ‘Let’s go to work’ and that’s all about him, the example he sets. Anybody who comes into our airspace going forward is going to have that reflection of what Bradley Beal is like."

PHOTOS: New Faces of the Wizards

Sheppard also said knowing Wall will be back is "good for peace of mind" and believes the All-Star guard will return to peak form.

"When John was healthy he was one of the top players in the NBA hands down. He’ll be healthy again. We’ll do everything we can (to help)," he told The Athletic. "In the meantime, we have to keep going forward. We added a lot of brand new pieces this year. They’re not rentals. They’re not short-term deals. These are guys in mind that we build a nucleus with going forward."

While Sheppard's comments make sense, The Junkies see this deal as a no-brainer. 

"But even if you adamant about keeping Beal, if you have the chance to shed that albatross of a contract John Wall has, I think you have to do it," The Junks' John Auville said Thursday.

"I like the moves that Tommy Sheppard has made as the interim GM, but if he has the opportunity to get rid of Wall... even if it means deal Beal you have to do it," Auville said. "Let's reboot, let's blow it up."

All of this has a deadline: July 26. That is the date when Beal could sign a three-year, $111 million extension with Washington, which would tie Beal to the franchise through the 2023-24 season.

Over the next week, the Wizards must decide if they want to keep Beal and not re-boot the franchise. And the All-Star guard must decide if he is willing to saddle his career to Wall, Ted Leonsis and the Wizards.

Either way, the direction of the franchise will soon be decided.

Follow @BenKrimmel and @1067theFan on Twitter and Instagram.

Related: