For the time being, everyone is intrigued by the thought of seeing newly acquired Russell Westbrook playing alongside Bradley Beal and the underachieving Wiz. You can count me as one of those people, but….let’s be honest, the odds of them doing any better than a first round exit in the playoffs is extremely low. And in contrast, the odds of the team chemistry not meshing and/or injuries happening to either of the aforementioned All-NBA level stars, and things could get ugly fast in terms of racking up L’s AND Beal’s patience level for a franchise that has rarely not been dysfunctional (cap tip to Ernie Grunfeld!).
There’s already been surface level speculation about where Beal could end up if he demands a trade and that list includes some of the same franchises who, sadly, lost the Giannis sweepstakes this past week when he signed the Bucks super max offer–namely, the Heat, Nets, Warriors….and maybe the Sixers (if Doc can’t turn around the ship). All of this makes sense, but I would bet on the Pelicans to be the most likely landing spot, since instead of the Wiz accepting spare change on the dollar (i.e. packages including [Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard, Kendrick Nunn, KZ Okpala, Andre Iguodala] [Caris LaVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen] [Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, 2021 1st from Minny]), they could grab 23-year old Brandon Ingram, who just re-signed to a 5 year/$158m max contract last month + 1st round picks + a rotation player(s).
It goes without saying that losing Beal would be horrific, but to get a proven, young, all-star level player would trump any other offer out there, and if the bidding gets heated, Pel’s head honcho, David Griffin has a lot more sweeteners to throw in the deal thanks to the bounty of assets from the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers.
Here’s an example of how the trade could go down: