Thanks to the new lottery odds, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to sneak up the lottery board and get the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. This means that the city of Los Angeles may be seeing a new rookie as well as a big-named free agent this summer.
The Lakers have openly said that they will be aggressive in the hopes of finding another All-Star to pair with LeBron James. Now that they have landed the 4th overall pick, they can put together a trade package to try to make a deal work. Anthony Davis is seen as the primary target. However, if the Pelicans aren’t willing to make a deal with the Lakers, LA could shift their attention to Bradley Beal.
This could be a benefit for the Washington Wizards, who are coming off of a dreadful 50-loss campaign and were only able to land the 9th overall pick in Tuesday night’s lottery. They also find themselves in a nasty salary cap situation and are looking to get out of it quickly so that they can avoid paying luxury tax.
According to one source, “the Lakers have other players they’re targeting in trades, according to league sources. Chief among them is Wizards guard Bradley Beal, though with the Wizards not yet hiring a front office honcho, no decision has been made whether to trade Beal. But LA will be in position to make an attractive offer if Beal is put on the block.”
This will be a pivotal summer for Beal and the Wizards from a financial standpoint. If he were to make an All-NBA team for his huge contribution during this past season, Beal could make himself eligible for a supermax extension, entitling him to 35 percent of the Wizards salary cap. Given the fact that Washington already handed out this contract to backcourt mate John Wall, I don’t see a situation in which the Wizards make two players accountable for 70 percent of their cap space during both the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons.
Beal isn’t a free agent until the summer of 2021, but given the Wizards’ cap situation and lack of talent on the roster, it is best that they start over instead of delaying the inevitable rebuild. It is also unlikely that a player as talented as Bradley Beal is would want to waste his prime years playing for a mediocre franchise. However, he has yet to request a trade, and it’s unclear what direction the Wizards will go given the fact that they have yet to hire a GM after the dismissal of Ernie Grunfeld in April.