If the Philadelphia 76ers can get Bradley Beal, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a matter of whether or not they can.
Bradley Beal is averaging 22.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. His 33.8 three-point percentage is well below his career average, but one would expect it to improve — especially in a new situation that offers more spot-up opportunities.
If the Philadelphia 76ers can get Beal via trade, there should be minimal hesitation. Even with depth concerns, adding a fourth star would make the Sixers legitimate title contenders in the Eastern Conference.
There’s also the age and contract factor. Beal is 25 and has three years left on a team-friendly contract. The fact that he’s even on the market should send teams into a frenzy. He can’t walk in the summer and he fits the timeline — both short and long-term.
The Sixers’ currently lack high-level assets to package together in a trade, though. Wilson Chandler would be the obvious contract filler, as J.J. Redick must approve his destination before getting traded. Washington probably doesn’t excite him.
Markelle Fultz would presumably head to D.C. as well, sending the former No. 1 pick back to his home town. If the Wizards are looking to hit the reset button, bringing on promising young talent makes sense. Fultz’s trade value just isn’t high right now. There’s too much uncertainty.
In addition to the Chandler-Fultz core, the Sixers would likely need to add another young asset (Zhaire Smith or Landry Shamet) and the unprotected 2021 Miami first-round pick, which was acquired in the Smith trade. A second first-round pick might be needed, as the Wizards currently have leverage.
If the Sixers can get away with Chandler, Fultz, Smith and picks, it’s an obvious decision for the front office — pull the trigger. A starting lineup of Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid has the potential for serious greatness.
Beal is an elite shooter, another shot creator and someone who can handle point guard duties when Simmons sits. He’s an ideal complement to the current core, even if splitting shots between four stars could prove difficult.
The problem is simple: Washington probably gets better offers. Most teams can offer better young prospects than Fultz and Smith, both of whom are dealing with curious (and concerning) injury complications.
Most teams can offer better salary filler than Chandler, who’s on an expiring contract and isn’t playing the best basketball right now. First round picks are always coveted, but other teams will sell the kitchen sink for Beal. More often than not, those packages will probably exceed the Sixers’ in value.
If the Washington situation implodes even further and there’s a credible trade request from Beal, the situation might change. But even then the Wizards retain some leverage due to Beal’s contract length and age. The Sixers won’t be able to buy low, and most teams will have interest in Beal.