According to a report from the NY Dail News, the Nets are so “immersed in their championship window” that they have internally discussed adding Bradley Beal as the third star in their team.
The Wizards have not shown any indication that they are going to trade Beal but given his circumstances, that possibility exists. Beal is one of the highest-paid players in the NBA and he is playing on a Washington team that has low-ceiling.
Beal and John Wall have led the Wizards to multiple playoff appearances but they have not been able to take the team to the next level. Because Washington has invested so much on their dynamic backcourt, the team no longer has the financial muscle to build a winner around them.
There have been many speculations about breaking the pair up. The Wizards can’t settle for just making the playoffs and getting eliminated after one or two rounds. The goal of every franchise is to win an NBA title and it’s becoming obvious that Washington is getting nowhere title contention with Wall and Beal.
On the Other Hand
The Nets acquired Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant during the 2019 offseason. However, Durant missed the entire 2019-20 campaign due to an Achilles injury while Irving cut his season short with shoulder surgery. But with both expected to return from the 2020-21 season, the Nets feel that they need one more star to be able to compete with the NBA’s elites. Getting Beal would be a step in that direction.
Beal averaged a career-high 30.5 points during the 2019-20 season. He also put up 6.5 assists and 3.0 three-pointers made per game. He is the perfect star to join Kyrie and KD in Brooklyn because he has proved that he can play alongside a ball-dominant player, doing do with Wall.
But if it’s Beal that Brooklyn wants, the price to pay would be steep and they would need a big offer because other teams in the league have better trade assets than them. However, if management can be creative enough, the Nets have pieces that can make the Wizards think about the offer hard.
If the Nets will indeed go after Bradley Beal, here are two offers which should catch Washington’s attention:
Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Plus Draft Picks
Outside of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Brooklyn has two up and coming players who have proved that they can lead the team. Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie have been the driving force of the Nets in the last two seasons.
The 25-year old Levert was the Indiana Pacers’ 20th overall pick in 2016 and his rights were traded to Brooklyn for Thaddeus Young. He’s had a history of foot injuries since his college days with the Michigan Wolverines but has always bounced back and emerged better.
Levert has played only a total of 207 games during his four-year NBA career but when he is healthy, Levert is a proven scorer who can take over games when needed. He’s averaged in double-digits in three of four NBA seasons and has a very good 12.4 career scoring average.
Last season, he played in only a total of 39 games. However, he averaged a career-high 17.7 points per game while also shooting a personal-best 38.1% from behind the three-point area. Levert scored a career-high 51 points last March, leading the Nets back from a 21-point second-half deficit to beat the Boston Celtics on the road. Watch highlights of Levert’s explosion here:
Dinwiddie was an All-Pac 12 player at Colorado who also suffered a serious injury in college. Dinwiddie tore his ACL during his junior season with the Buffaloes and he declared for the draft. He was picked 38th overall by the Detroit Pistons in 2014 and played 34 games for the team before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls in 2016. The Nets signed him later that year and he’s become one of their most consistent performers since then.
Dinwiddie has posted three double-digit scoring seasons in Brooklyn. During the 2019-20 season, he averaged career-highs in scoring and passing at 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game. His offensive rating of 110.5 and usage rate of .287 this season were also the highest of his career.
The Nets had a tumultuous 2019-20 season where they played without Durant, lost Irving early, and missed Levert for a considerable period. However, Dinwiddie wasn’t just scoring and passing, he became their leader and the Nets were able to secure a playoff spot even if they didn’t have three of their four best players on the court
Dinwiddie is one of the NBA’s top downhill drivers and is a big threat in the pick and roll. He displayed tremendous composure and the ability to stabilize the Nets despite the challenges the team faced during the 2019-20 season.
At least the Magic and Pistons had an interest in Dinwiddie during the trade deadline, but the 27-year old was so good this year that Brooklyn didn’t entertain the thought of trading him. But then again, Bradley Beal is an entirely different story.
The Nets could sweeten the deal by adding their 2021 first-round pick and a future second-round pick as well. The Washington Wizards are rebuilding and given the fact they have signed too many young players in the past two seasons, they will be very happy with additional draft picks.
There is no question that Beal still better than Levert and Dinwiddie but when you get two blue-collar scorers who can put up 20 points each on any given night, I think that Washington will be justly compensated with this offer from the Brooklyn Nets.
If Levert and Dinwiddie fit and Washington becomes the playoff team in 2020-21, then it’s all good. But if they don’t work out well in D.C., Washington still gets flexibility here, in case they will end up trying to trade these players subsequently.
Beal’s average salary is $33.5M while Levert’s is at $17.5 and Dinwiddie has a player option in 2021-22. Trading Beal’s salary would be difficult, but having two smaller salaries would be easier to deal with. But then again, other teams can still come up with better offers for Beal so, maybe Brooklyn adds another piece.
Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Dzanan Musa, Draft Picks
We already talked about Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie above and we said that these two could provide Washington with 20 points each when healthy. They are also at about the same age with Beal so in my opinion, the Wizards will not get short-handed.
But if the Nets want to add flavor to their offer, then there is another option. Add in Jarrett Allen and the Wizards also get a young player who is a force on the other end of the basketball court.
Washington’s struggles last season can be attributed to the absence of John Wall. But other than that, the Wizards were atrocious on defense during the 2019-20 season. Washington ranked 29th in points allowed at 119.7 points per game, last in rebounds at 41.7 per contest, and had the worst defensive rating in the entire NBA at 115.0 points per 100 possessions allowed.
The 6-11 Allen was the Nets’ 22nd pick overall in 2017 after playing just one season with the Texas Longhorns. Allen is one of the league’s most interesting rim-runners and high-flyers. He can play above the rim on offense and is a defensive presence that the Wizards don’t have.
Allen averaged 10.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 64.6% from the field during the 2019-20 season. He had a 65.8% true shooting percentage and ranked sixth overall in box-plus-minus among players his age in the NBA.
He has the potential to become a defensive anchor and his ability as a roll man in the pick and roll with open up the floor for a shooter like Davis Bertans. He will also make John Wall more effective in a pick and roll situation.
Adding a fourth player in Dzanan Musa would make the offer more interesting for Washington. Musa was Brooklyn’s 29th pick in 2018 after starring in Croatia and winning the EuroCup Rising Star award in 2018. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game during the 2019-20 campaign and is an interesting prospect. The Nets could throw in a 2023 first-round pick to complete their offer.