But it appears the Nets have even bigger plans for reshaping their roster.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported the Nets have “internally discussed avenues of acquiring Wizards guard Bradley Beal.”
This season had been a struggle for the Nets prior to the suspension of play. Brooklyn was already without Durant, and Irving went in and out of the lineup due to a shoulder impingement that would eventually require surgery.
Beal signed an extension with the Wizards prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, but has appeared visibly frustrated throughout the season while being unable to keep Washington in playoff contention amid a slew of injuries.
As Bondy noted in his article, Irving previously suggested the Nets were missing something in the rotation: is Beal that guy who could put the Nets over the top?
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has said multiple times the Wizards hope to build around Beal and John Wall. But the two are eating up an enormous chunk of their salary cap, and perhaps it is time for the Wizards to accrue assets while they have the chance.
With that in mind, here are the best trade overtures Brooklyn could make to the Wizards.
Proposal #1: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen for Beal
At the outset, this seems like a lot of value for the Wizards, and it is. But there are reasons this move makes sense.
Both Dinwiddie and LeVert figure to fight for playing time once Durant returns to the rotation. Plus, Dinwiddie will be in the final year of his current contract next season.
Allen is quietly one of the best young centers in the NBA. But his offensive game is still limited, and the Nets have seemed more content rolling the dice with DeAndre Jordan at center. Brooklyn still has Nicolas Claxto in the frontcourt. Why not maximize Allen’s value?
Brooklyn reached an extension with LeVert prior to the start of this season, and he will be making $16.2 million in the first year of that deal next year. For that price, wouldn’t the Nets rather have Beal? After all, he is just over a year older than LeVert.
As for the Wizards, this more than makes sense in terms of restructuring the roster without blowing things up. They get rid of Beal’s contract while also getting an expiring contract in Dinwiddie, giving them quite a bit more financial flexibility.
Plus, LeVert can step into Beal’s role as a combo guard who handles the ball and can space the floor with his shooting ability.
Proposal #2: Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Garrett Temple and a 2020 first-round pick for Beal
Dinwiddie is likely going to be part of any deal for Beal in order to make salaries work, so he is still involved in this proposal.
But say the Nets change up and decide they would rather have Allen locking down the middle, instead of Jordan. They can shed Jordan’s salary and replace LeVert with Garrett Temple.
However, the Wizards would be acquiring a relatively large financial commitment for an aging veteran center in Jordan. Thus, the Nets include their first-round pick in this year’s draft.
This is hardly the most consequential loss for Brooklyn. The pick would currently be outside the lottery, and the Nets would be acquiring Beal with the idea he can be a face of the franchise for years to come.
This deal would still make sense for the Wizards, because they would receive another first-round pick, while also potentially having the opportunity to shop Jordan to get him off the books and create more future cap space. The addition of Temple would also give Washington a veteran presence and a solid wing defender.
And again, perhaps most consequently, the Wizards would receive Dinwiddie’s expiring. Perhaps they could even flip him to a contender at the deadline.
Regardless, these options could make sense for both teams, if the Wizards decide they are willing to shop Beal around.