Can the Knicks land Bradley Beal?
After a turbulent and underwhelming offseason, the New York Knicks are in a wayward place. A string of signings in addition to two anticipated draft picks, fans aren’t sure where the team stands. No person may know that feeling better than Bradley Beal. The 26-year-old shooting guard has spent the entirety of his career with the Washington Wizards. However, in spite of his high level of play, he has been the focus of trade talks for at least a season. Now, with the new season only weeks away, there is a chance that Beal may find himself in a new home. To that end, the Knicks may want to throw their name in the hat. However, should the Knicks even try to chase him?
There is no question, Beal is a top tier player. During the 2018-2019 NBA season, he averaged 25.6 points per game, along with 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds a game. He is one of the better players in the league and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of slowing down. In spite of his individual skill, he has seen little success in the playoffs, never making it past the second round. His team has constantly struggled with injuries, making it difficult to advance. Simply put, the situation in Washington didn’t seem to lend itself to winning. Their best option may be to hit the restart button and start calling around to make a trade. If they do, the Knicks should be one of the first teams they call.
Right time, right fit?
Before discussing if a deal could be reached, it begs the question if this would even be a worthwhile deal to make. The Knicks have no shortage of trade assets that the Wizards could seek after, especially if Washington wants to start from scratch. On the flip side, Beal brings a lot of talent and experience to the table that the Knicks could be interested in. Surrounded by the right cast, Beal could lead the offensive charge. Moreover, his lack of success thus far ensures one thing: he’s hungry. He wants to win, and now may be his best chance to do.
LeBron James is in the West now, leading the charge for the re-tooled Lakers. Kawhi Leonard followed suit to head up the new look Los Angeles Clippers. Kevin Durant, who migrated East to join the Brooklyn Nets, is out indefinitely with a debilitating injury. His tentative return date is slated for somewhere in 2020. Until then, the keys to the East seem to be up for grabs with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks being the front runners to take them. The rest of the East, though, is less certain. That being said, now may be the time for the Knicks to strike. What better way to do that than by adding a star like Beal?
Let’s make a deal.
At this point it’s tough to say who would be off the table for the Knicks. Last season, after trading away Kristaps Porzingis, it appeared that the word “untouchable” wasn’t in the front office’s vocabulary. Still, it is a safe bet that newly acquired R.J. Barrett, as well as Mitchell Robinson, will probably be off the table. Additionally, the Knicks may not be so keen on sending away Julius Randle, who will likely be an offensive and defensive focal point for the team next season.
Since the Wizards may be eyeing a restart, New York could offer Washington a mix of young stars that would give the team a healthy stock for the future. Such a package could include the likes Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox. To hold it together, the Knicks could add a big man like Taj Gibson or throw in a draft pick. That being said, the Knicks should not overly clamor for Beal. After all, the idea here is to surround him with talent, not ship everyone off. Thus, if Washington shows interest, the Knicks may be able to pitch a worthwhile trade package that could land Beal in the Garden.
The start of the preseason is only a few weeks away and neither team has begun any trade talks. This may be something that happens closer to the trade deadline, but it is not outside the realm of possibility. If the Knicks engage in trade discussions with the Wizards, both sides could come out on top. New York could get the star they want in the form of Beal, while Washington could get a crop of young players to re-start their franchise. A deal may not be happening now, but fans should keep their ear out for any trade news on the horizon.