The Washington Wizards have obviously not had the year they wanted. In a LeBron-less Eastern Conference, Bradley Beal and John Wall were expected to lead the Wizards to the playoffs and potentially a deep run once there. As things currently stand, the Wizards are 5-11 and currently sit outside the playoffs. And along with the bad record, the Wizards are in a state of disfunction.
Just recently, there was some altercations in a practice that included John Wall yelling expletives at Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and Beal saying some comments to the front office about having to deal with things in DC. Add these issues with the fact rumors are out there about everyone being available via trade and things are falling apart fast. With everyone being available, of course it means Beal and Wall could be had.
The Wizards more than likely will not part way with either, but if they get an offer they cannot refuse, the Wizards’ front office will more than likely send one or both on their way. So which one is the more likely to go?
Beal has the ability to be great offensively. When he gets going offensively, he can shoot the lights out from deep. Beal can also play both guard spots along with finish at the rim. With him on the market, there will be plenty teams that come calling. With him being in the second year of a five-year, $127 million deal, it will not be easy for him to be had. In today’s NBA, Beal is a great player to have because he can shoot the three-pointer so well. In the last three seasons, he has shot over 45% overall and over 37% from three-point range.
The damage he can do on the offensive end is incredible. And what is even better is Beal has been the healthiest of his career in the last three seasons. He did not miss a game all regular season last year and this season he has been on the court for every single game. His twenty-plus points a game would be a great addition to a team looking to take the next step in their growth.
While his shooting percentages seem great, what has to be alarming is his decline in the three-point ball over the last three season. The 37% over the last three seasons sounds good, but he has gone from 40.4% to 33.9% from three-point range in that time. Couple his declining shooting with his ability to disappear sometimes in games and there has to be some concerns over him being the missing piece on a new team.
While Beal is an outstanding talent, the straw that stirs the drink for the Wizards is John Wall. Over his eight years in the NBA, Wall has averaged over seven assists a game every single season, getting everyone involved in the game. Wall is a guy, when focused, who can lift up the entire team with his jet speed and his energy on the court. He, along with Beal, are considered the faces of the franchise. Wall, however, has not had the best health last season.
He was only able to play 41 of 82 regular season games due to knee issues. Wall, who is three years older than Beal, has had issues with his knees for some time now and they are not going to get any better as he gets older. While he can incite a team, the injury concerns and the fact he has a four-year, $139 million contract extension kicking in next season could scare some teams away from taking a chance on him. Add in Wall has limited shooting range as a point guard in a space-and-pace NBA and he could be there in Washington longer than Beal.
Beal and Wall were once considered one of the best backcourts in the NBA. At this time, they are considered the captains of one of the most dysfunctional teams in the NBA. Sooner or later, they are going to have to rebuild this team. And with the rebuild, one could be headed out the door in a trade. Both have their pluses and minuses about them and both could make a big difference for a team. Whether the Wizards are bluffing or not, there will be offers for both of these talented guards. The only questions are who will put together a good enough package and who will the package be for.