There isn’t an NBA team being discussed in trade rumors more right now than the New York Knicks, who are coming off of their first playoff berth since the 2012-2013 season.
Julius Randle’s growth from role player to All-NBA and All-Star forward has catapulted the team’s rebuild and put them in discussion for any and all rumored names available via trade this offseason.
The latest among them? Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Coming off of a season where he averaged 31.3 points per game, speculation is mounting that the three-time All-Star could see a trade out of DC this summer.
As did the Knicks, the Wizards suffered a gentleman’s sweep in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
Could the two sides combine forces to make a deeper playoff run next season?
Former ESPN insider Chad Ford put together the framework for a potential New York-Washington blockbuster in a recent addition of his substack newsletter.
Fischer: Beal ‘Considering’ Trade Request
“He knows he has to make a decision before the draft,” one source with direct knowledge of Beal’s thinking told Bleacher Report. For the past year, people familiar with Beal’s dedicated relationship to the Wizards have consistently rebuffed the notion he had interest in playing elsewhere. Yet a second source close to Beal, when contacted by B/R, confirmed the situation is now fluid.
But when it came to a list of potential destinations, the New York Knicks weren’t listed:
Beal does not have a proverbial list of preferred destinations, but it was mentioned by multiple sources that he would welcome joining teams such as Boston, Golden State, Miami or Philadelphia—although Beal requesting a trade would all but guarantee an expansive bidding war across the league.
Still, if Beal is to issue a trade request, don’t doubt that Leon Rose and the front office would be prepared to discuss a deal with the Wizards. He’s a near-perfect fit for what this roster is lacking.
As far as what that could look like, Chad Ford has an idea.
Ford’s Trade Proposal
There’s no question that Bradley Beal, as one of the best scorers in the NBA, would help a New York Knicks team that couldn’t buy a bucket in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.
And head coach Tom Thibodeau’s instituted defensive scheme would help to hide him on that end of the ball.
In the same vein, it’s possible that Chad Ford’s proposed package would be a price that’s too high to pay.
- New York Knicks receive: Bradley Beal
- Washington Wizards receive: RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, Elfrid Payton (sign-and-trade), the 19th and 21st picks in this year’s draft, and a 2023 first-round pick.
He cited the Knicks desire to maximize Julius Randle’s window as the largest reason they do this deal:
The Knicks are hungry to build on 2020-21’s regular season and need a star to pair with first-time All-Star Julius Randle. Beal is in his prime and would provide the shooting and scoring the Knicks desperately need in the backcourt.
For the Wizards, the obvious incentive is young and upcoming star RJ Barrett:
In this proposed deal, Barrett is the prize for Washington. Still just 21, seven years younger than Beal, he really came on in his second season.
It’s unclear whether New York is ready to part ways with the third overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft just yet, even if it means getting a second All-Star.
And while this deal would allow them to keep youngsters Immanuel Quickley and Mitchell Robinson, it’s about as close to “selling the farm” as it gets.