Hypothetical Warriors-Beal trade discussed on ESPN podcast


The basketball world has had many, many months to speculate and come up with hypothetical trade scenarios involving some of the NBA's biggest stars.

One such theoretical deal involves the Warriors and Washington Wizards, and is centered around Bradley Beal.

On Monday's episode of ESPN's "Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective" podcast, the following conversation took place between Windhorst, Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton:

Bontemps: "There are not a lot of teams that can trade for Beal because you have to have a lot to trade to get a guy like this ... Bradley Beal is a top-15 player in the league. You have to give up value to get a player like that."

Windhorst: "So a team that could enter the sweepstakes should (he) become available would be the Golden State Warriors."

Bontemps: "The trade there is pretty simple. Andrew Wiggins is involved from a salary standpoint. And then it would be the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, the (Minnesota) Timberwolves pick next year, and then I also included Minnesota's second-round pick next year -- which I anticipate to be a very good selection."

Pelton: "We've been treating this as an offseason discussion. But inevitably, it's not going to play out until the trade deadline."

Windhorst: "And that's why Golden State's offer -- they'd want to get it taken before the draft."

Bontemps: "Golden State would be much better off if Bradley Beal says in the next month, 'I don't want to play in Washington anymore.' Over the next month, I think they have the best offer. I think once you get into the season -- and they've already driven the new car off the lot with that second pick ..."

Windhorst: "Unless they take James Wiseman and he's averaging like 14 and 10."

Pelton: "And then do you want to trade him?"

Windhorst: "That's classic -- the unknown is always more valuable than the known."

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First, just to recap -- when the Warriors traded D'Angelo Russell to the T-Wolves in early February, they acquired Minnesota's 2021 top-three protected first-rounder (which becomes unprotected in 2022 if not conveyed in 2021), and Minnesota's 2021 second-rounder.

As Bontemps mentioned, that second-round selection could be in the early 30s (which would be valuable) if the T-Wolves are really bad next season.

Second, the expectation is that Beal will begin the 2020-21 campaign as a member of the Wizards, because the franchise wants to see him and John Wall play together again before making any drastic changes. But Washington's perspective could change if the front office falls in love with a prospect they could take at No. 2 overall.

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And lastly, we get to the variable about the timing of a potential trade. Bontemps' analogy to the car immediately becoming a depreciated asset is understandable and fair. But as Windhorst alluded to, what if Golden State picks Wiseman and the 7-foot-1 big man is thriving as the franchise's starting center?

Furthermore, what if Wiggins over the first couple months shoots nearly 40 percent from 3-point range while becoming a very strong wing defender?

If Wiggins and Wiseman (or whoever they select) are exceeding expectations -- and the Warriors are winning a lot of games -- would president of basketball operations Bob Myers and his staff pull the plug on any Beal trade? It's not unrealistic to visualize this coming to fruition.

Nobody has any clue how things will play out, but we are less than a month away from the draft finally being here. And it's going to be fascinating to see what actually happens.

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