Los Angeles Lakers: What would it take to trade for Bradley Beal?

Bradley Beal vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in trading for Bradley Beal.

The Los Angeles Lakers have the most talented duo in the NBA this season and win or lose in the playoffs this season, Rob Pelinka is going to be hard at work looking to improve the team in any way he can in the short offseason.

One of the potential options would be to trade for Bradley Beal, who is perhaps the most popular potential trade candidate in the league right now. Beal is a really talented two-guard who is kind of stuck on the Wizards and has a massive extension that is going to kick into effect in two seasons.

The Wizards, who are not a great team, very well could be interested in freeing up the money that is owed to Beal. They essentially cannot add anything with his and John Wall’s contract and it is clear that the guard duo has not been able to push the team past the next level, even though we have not seen both healthy at the same time recently.

This is more than just an interesting dream idea for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team has reportedly shown interest in trading for Beal. NBA insider Shams Charania confirmed on the “Load Management” podcast that the Lakers have had an interest in Beal at several different points.

The big hang-up in a potential Beal trade is whether or not the Washington Wizards want to offer him a supermax extension. Beal could opt out after the 2021-22 season and get the 35 percent supermax contract from the Wizards, which seemed to be his plan when he signed this extension.

However, two things could have changed this plan. First, is the simple fact of whether or not the Wizards even want to sign him to a supermax contract. If there is any legitimate steam around the team shopping Beal then they probably do not want to lock him in on a massive contract as he heads into his 30s, especially with how the John Wall contract has played out.

Second of all, the cap could be lower than expected, even two years from now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the fallout from Daryl Morey’s Hong Kong tweet. If that is the case, it might actually make more sense for Beal to accept his player option on that two-year extension and then sign a max contract the following year for another team.

It might not be a supermax, but if the cap rebounds quickly that following year, with his $37.2 million salary in 2022-23, he might actually make more going that route.

So, what would it take for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Beal after the 2019-20 season concludes?

Potential Los Angeles Lakers trade package for Bradley Beal:

Whether or not this trade would be worth it is a discussion for another day, but this is simply what it would take to even get the ball rolling on a Bradley Beal trade. You could include a third team, with moving pieces elsewhere, but this is essentially who the Lakers would have to give up.

From a value standpoint, the three most valuable things in this trade for Washington are Kuzma, the draft pick and freeing up the cap space for Beal with expiring contracts in Green, Bradley and Cook.

Whether or not that is worth is for the Wizards depends on how much they value freeing up the contract space of Beal. Sometimes we see teams take less value if they simply want to free up money, but again, it all depends on the Wizards’ priorities.

This trade would take some maneuvering to even be possible, though. Avery Bradley would have to accept his player option for next season and essentially accept a sign and trade to Washington. Would he leave a contending team for a non-contending team as a favor to the Lakers? Maybe if LeBron decides to include him in “Space Jam 2”, but it would take some convincing.

The other thing that the team would have to maneuver around is trading the draft pick. The Stepien Rule in the NBA does not allow teams to trade draft picks in consecutive years, but this is extremely easy to get around.

The Los Angeles Lakers could simply do what every team does in this situation and agree to trade the pick in principle, “draft” the player that the Wizards want and then include that player in the trade.

What would this trade mean moving forward? Well, it would not restrict Anthony Davis signing an extension as the team does have Bird Rights on him. LeBron James would, however, have to take a pay cut on his next contract to make this work.

RELATED: Why Anthony Davis could accept his player option 

He could accept his player option and then take that pay cut prior to the 2022-23 season, which will likely be justified at that point as he will be 37. At that point, Beal would be heading into the last year of his contract (assuming he accepts the player option for reasons already outlined) and the team would likely only sign a 1-2 year deal with LeBron.

The only potential hangup in this is that is could take the team out of the running for Giannis Antetokounmpo. But let’s be honest, I do not even see Giannis leaving Milwaukee, at least not after his first contract is up.

The Bucks are going to give him some big contract extension and he has no reason not to sign it. The Bucks have done everything to build a great team around him and Giannis truly does seem like someone who cares about his personal legacy with one team.

Things can change, but I would not hold off on making the team better on the hopes that Giannis is frustrated and leaves Milwaukee.

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At the end of the day, this is what it would take for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Bradley Beal. Whether or not it is worth it is up to the team and you, our great readers, to decide in the comments below.