Exploring the Bradley Beal–to-the-Warriors Trade Rumors

With the NBA offseason here, the rumor mill is starting to heat up. The Warriors are back in the spotlight after a down year that led them to have the worst record in the league. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have both recovered from serious injuries, and Golden State expects to be in contention again. But will the team make a big move ahead of the 2020–21 season? The Warriors own one of the best trade packages that consists of the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft and Minnesota’s first-rounder for next year. We explored what they might do with this year’s pick, but what about the Bradley Beal rumors? Can the Warriors really make that deal happen? Are the Wizards interested in Andrew Wiggins and a few draft picks?

Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix and former GM of the Phoenix Suns Ryan McDonough dive into the rumor mill and explore a potential Bradley Beal deal to the Warriors.

Mannix: The Warriors are kind of lurking out there. Klay Thompson is back at practice and by all accounts looks fine. The Warriors are going to run back Steph, Klay and Draymond Green, who are the core players on that team. Just a few years ago that group won 73 games. They are also going to have the No. 2 pick in the draft. How valuable is that No. 2 pick to the Warriors? Either in terms of them using it and drafting somebody or potentially flipping it?

McDonough: Chris, I said it before the Warriors started struggling in 2019 and in early 2020, when it was clear that Klay was not going to play and Steph injured his hand and they had the worst record in the league before the pandemic shut the league down in March. I said the great part about this for the Warriors is that they are well positioned as any team that has ever been in this position—at least in recent history in the last 20 years since I have been involved with the NBA. I think the best thing is to explore trades for that pick and bring in another veteran impact player and get their team back to a championship level immediately next season. I think the best fake trade idea I have come up with that I think makes a lot of sense for both sides is: Who says no if Bob Myers calls Tommy Sheppard of the Wizards and Myers offers Andrew Wiggins, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, and Minnesota’s first-round pick in the 2021 draft that is only protected to top three for Bradley Beal? Chris, who says no? Because I think that deal makes a ton of sense for both sides. The Warriors bring in Beal alongside the Splash Brothers and Draymond. Washington might want to retain Bradley Beal, but my guess is that you will never get a better offer than that because it is the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft and it could be another top-five pick in the 2021 draft.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole

Mannix: I think the Warriors do it all day long even though the price is pretty steep with a couple of those draft picks. In my opinion, Washington would think long and hard about it because they have charted a course that puts them with Beal, John Wall and Davis Bertans next year. Now, I don’t know what that wins but it probably gets you in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. But next year with Wall coming off such a major injury, I don’t know how far you get. But they seem pretty committed to that group of players getting some run together.

That is a really appetizing offer to have the potential to draft James Wiseman, or Anthony Edwards if he is on the table at that point. And to have a pick from Minnesota next year, and I like the Timberwolves as a team but in the Western Conference they could be 14 or 15 next year. That is going to put them in a tough spot. I think that would have the Wizards regretting turning down the offers they received for Bertans at the trade deadline. But that may be the only pill to swallow because if you make that deal if you are the Wizards, you then kind of transition to a team—that maybe you try to rehabilitate John Wall enough to trade him, too. You would have to make some kind of fundamental shift in the team you are hoping to be, but I am with you that this is a huge offer. Teams will put out offers for Bradley Beal, no question about it, but I am not sure there will be offers as big as the Warriors’.

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it is a pretty big deal for both sides. The Warriors—despite what they are giving up—it is all your guys in the same kind of generation, you are maintaining a path to a championship. I think Curry, Beal and Klay Thompson can all play together in today’s NBA. I don’t think you need to have a traditional small forward. We thought their “Death Lineup” was tough to face before just think about how tough the Beal “Death Lineup” will be.

— SPORTS ILLUSTRATED