NBA 2018-19: Toronto Raptors could benefit from the Washington Wizards' firesale
If the reports out of Washington DC are correct, the 6-11 Wizards are interested in changes. The type of changes that could send their franchise into a rebuilding phase and make a Conference rival even more potent than they already are. According to ESPN.com, "everyone on the Wizards roster is available in trades".
For trade suitors looking to beef up their roster, with scoring and shooting, let the trade wars begin, because 28-year-old point guard, John Wall and 25-year-old, shooting guard, Bradley Beal are available.
John wall, a lightening quick all star guard has combined, with sharp shooting Bradley Beal, to form one of the most formidable back court tandems, in recent NBA history. John Wall averages 18.9 points and 9.2 assists per game. Beal is an almost identical 18.8pts/g and averages 39% from the three-point range.
Their potential availability, in trade offers, is game-changing for teams either already, in contention, for the NBA title this year, or looking to get into contention. Its definitely expected either player will earn the Wizards a treasure trove, of riches. Both players are under 30 years old and in the primes of their career.
The Toronto Raptors have an immense opportunity, if general manager Bobby Webster, on approval, from Raptors team president, Massai Ujiri, picked up the phone and swung a deal, with the Wizards' general manager, Ernie Grunfeld.
When the Raptors completed the DeMar DeRozan deal, for Kawhi Leonard, they improved the roster for right now, but as of July 1st, 2018, if Leonard opts out of his deal and signs elsewhere and Danny Green, a free agent does not sign in Toronto, the Raptors will have nothing to show, for DeMar DeRozan, starting in the 2019-2020 season.
With no commitment from Leonard, the Raptors future could be bleak. The Wizards' could present the Raptors, hypothetically, with not only the opportunity, to try and cement their place, as the heir apparent, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the East's representative, in the NBA Finals, but a fix to a potential loss of Kawhi Leonard.
Should the Raptors pursue Bradley Beal , who, is locked in, for two more years, after this season, at $27 million and then, $28.75 the year after, would become the hypothetical replacement to DeMar DeRozan or the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard should Leonard break Toronto's heart and walk away from the team.
The Raptors, a deep team, have the picks and players to make this deal work. The key, obviously is to not give away too much and still remain a dominant team in the Eastern Conference.
Beal makes just over $25 million this year. Might Washington be enticed, by a package of center Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles (combined $26.3 million) and a 1st round pick in 2020 or 2021? Maybe its Serge Ibaka and either Pascal Siakam or O.G. Anunoby where the Raptors would take on the $2 million in salary?
Whatever the package might be from the Raptors, its sure to include either Pascal Siakam or O.G. Anunoby, if a deal occurs. Ultimately, the responsibility of Bobby Webster and Massai Ujiri is to not give up more than they need to and Ernie Grunfeld will want, as much as he can possibly get.
Beal makes better sense, for the Raptors, should they enter this potential negotiation. The heart and soul of the Raptors is point guard Kyle Lowry. While he is aging, he is still productive. If we are talking about the upcoming off-season, and Leonard has left Toronto, then maybe Wall makes more sense.
However, if we are dealing with until the trade deadline, Beal adds another sharpshooter who Lowry can distribute to. Further, another star quality player, like Beal, could entice Leonard to stay in Toronto long term. Wall presents another problem besides the Raptors already having Lowry. John Wall is just extremely expensive. He signed a four year contract extension in July of 2017 worth $170 million and it starts, in 2019, when he will start earning $37.8 million for the year.
Internal issues and drama may make it urgent for Washington to make changes. However, its still early in the season. Any on or off court problems could be easily worked out. Further, if Washington's front office waited, until after the New Year or closer to the trade deadline, maybe a contender team has injuries on their plate, are struggling in the standings or are simply desperate to add a player and the price for their assets.
Its already been an intriguing year, with the Jimmy Butler deal, head coach Tyronn Lue getting fired, J.R. Smith's absence from Cleveland pending a trade, the on-court spat between Golden State teammates Durant and Green and now potentially John Wall and or Bradley Beal wearing new uniforms.