Trade rumor season is kicking into full swing, with the next one being Washington Wizards’ star guard Bradley Beal being linked to the New York Knicks as a potential trade option this offseason.
Fred Katz of The Athletic reported on the level of interest the Knicks currently have in the star guard.
“The Knicks have thought about Beal for longer than just this week. According to a league source close to the situation, New York’s front office has already let necessary people know the team would be interested in the former All-NBA guard if he were to become available. Of course, Beal becoming available is more complicated than it would be with any other player,” Katz wrote.
Beal, a three-time All-Star with the Wizards, has a track record of being one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA, as he has had two seasons averaging 30+ points in the last four years. This past season was a precipitous drop off from his peak, but was still nonetheless a productive season, as he averaged 23.2 points and 5.4 assists with 50.6/36.5/84.2 shooting splits in 50 games this season.
What makes trading for a small offensive-first guard in Beal is one thing: his contract.
Beal signed a five-year/$251 million contract extension last offseason, which included a no-trade clause (Beal is the only player in the NBA currently with one), meaning Beal has to approve a trade of any kind and dictates what negotiations the Wizards make, meaning that they will likely not have an even trade-off in a hypothetical trade.
His average salary of just over $50 million is the highest among all shooting guards in the NBA.
According to Katz’s report, Beal has expressed his desire to play in a warm weather environment, though he has also expressed that he enjoys playing at Madison Square Garden.
Beal coming to the Knicks would pair him up with Jalen Brunson and create a very good offensive backcourt full of high-level scoring and solid playmaking, and would likely form a big three alongside Brunson and Julius Randle or RJ Barrett.
However, the contract situation would mean that the Knicks would have to clear a couple of contracts off of the books, and the depth of the team will also take a step back along with the defense.
There are many pros as well as cons that come with trading for the star shooting guard. Perhaps they play it aggressively and get Beal to add scoring to their team and prevent the heavily favored Miami Heat from taking him.
However, at the end of the day, the only person that can greenlight a trade to the Knicks is Beal himself. Will the Knicks go all in for Beal? Only time will tell.
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