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Wizards Would Be Foolish to Trade Bradley Beal

dfavale January 15, 2013 Dan Favale 3 Comments

The Washington Wizards aren’t known for their basketball savvy anymore, yet not even they would be dumb enough to trade rookie Bradley Beal. Anywhere. Remember when THD sat down with Beal when he was coming out of HS? Well he’s come a long way since then, and is now becoming legit at the pro level as well.

According to Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, Beal was supposedly the centerpiece of any package the Wizards would propose to the Memphis Grizzlies for Rudy Gay:

For example, the Griz have entertained the Washington Wizards’ offer for Gay. The crux of that exchange would have the Griz receiving rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal in a larger package. The proposals for Randolph have been even weaker.

None of the potential deals has merit because they aren’t believed to be strong enough to keep the Griz on their current pace.

I nearly choked on the beverage I wasn’t drinking and the food I wasn’t eating when I read that.

Why?

Because it’s insane.

First, let me address the end. Of course Memphis isn’t going to sustain its current status right down to the last point by moving Gay. He’s the Grizzlie’s leading scorer and they’re looking to dump salary. It doesn’t work that way. I mean, when you’re giving up arguably your best player, your team’s not going to get better. Just saying.

More troubling than that, however, was the notion Washington may be prepared to move Beal in any deal. My first thought was: Are you kidding me? And my second was: Oh crap, this is the Wizards we’re talking about.

Once the shock began to set in, I realized that this report had to be false. Not even the Wizards were that detrimental to themselves.

Understandably, Washington is interested in Gay. He would give the team the proven scorer it has never had and would undoubtedly be a great running mate for John Wall.

Just not at the expense of Beal.

I’m not going to pretend that Beal’s 13.2 points on 36.7 percent shooting compare to Gay’s 17.8 on 41.4 respectively. That said, in Gay, the Wizards know what they’re going to get–an overpaid and oft-inefficient scorer who falls short of being a superstar. With Beal, though, this team has no idea what they have. And that immeasurable ceiling makes dealing him inane.

It’s not as if Washington doesn’t know it has something special in Beal. His struggles from the field are of some concern, but they came as the team’s primary offensive option and a rookie. His ability to fight through such trials and tribulations, embrace the role he was forced to take on in Wall’s absence and hit some big shots while he was at it is a testament to his character and resolve.

Why would Washington want to give that up?

Well, according to Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein (via Michael Lee of The Washington Post, it doesn’t and it won’t:

Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal has not been mentioned in trade discussions with the Memphis Grizzlies involving swingman Rudy Gay, according to Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein.

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported Monday that the Grizzlies have “entertained” an offer from the Wizards that would include Beal in a larger package.”I’ve talked to both teams. There is absolutely nothing to it,” Bartelstein said.

“The Wizards have made it very clear that they are not moving Brad Beal.”

Multiple league sources confirm that the Wizards have spoken with Memphis about prying away Gay, the team’s leading scorer, with one adding that Washington is “pushing for” his services. That push, however, does not include Beal, the third overall pick of the 2012 draft.

A source with knowledge of the Wizards’ thinking called the report of the team offering Beal, “100 percent not true.”

Relieved?

So am I.

Washington has a future star in Beal. Maybe he turns out to be more super than Gay is, or maybe he doesn’t, but the Wizards owe it to themselves to find out. If they land Memphis’ star forward without having to entertain the notion of dealing Beal or Wall, then by all means, they should pull the trigger.

When it comes to trading Beal, though?

Well, let’s just say the Wizards are better of ensuring such an occurrence remains “100 percent not true.”

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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  • Pressnellsmith
  • Nich

    Arguably their best player? Gay is definitely not one of their two best players, is likely not their third best player and is conceivably not even their 4th best player (Speights!)

    I think Memphis was trying to set the price for Gay. Wizards aren’t going into the luxury tax for Rudy Gay. I assure you. The guys Points Per Shot over the past 2 seasons is equal to Jordan Crawford, who costs 1/9th the money.

    All smoke, no fire, unless Memphis inexplicably thinks Okafor and Ariza are the answer for them. I’d somewhat consider a deal that sends those 2 and our pick in exchange for Gay and Speights. Beal just hit 6-7 3s in a game. Gay hasn’t hit over 60% on 6+ 3attempts in a game in 3 years.

    He isn’t a superstar, he’s barely a star. A big step down from guys like Iggy, Deng, Granger and Josh Smith. I don’t get the big deal.

    • Dan

      Gay is at least one of their two best players. And I think you missed the point of the argument, which says they shouldn’t trade Beal for Gay. You don’t need to try and convince me.