The New York Knicks reportedly had conversations about a trade for Bradley Beal earlier this year and anew report claims they could be a serious contender to land the Washington Wizards star this summer.
With the NBA offseason officially underway, the speculation on potential trades and destinations for impending free agents has intensified in recent days. One player that has seen their name thrust to the forefront of rumors this week is three-time All-Star Bradley Beal.
Earlier this week, it was reported that if the Washington Wizards realize they won’t be able to bring back talented forwards Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis next season, they will work with Beal to find him a new home to his desire.
Such a decision has been speculated about for years, but even until just a couple of months ago, it seemed like it was an unlikely direction for the Wizards organization. However, with major changes in the front office over the last few weeks, there has been a shift in the team’s off-season approach.
With Bradley Beal potentially being up for grabs, it seems the New York Knicks could be serious contenders for his services. On Wednesday, SNY’s NBA insider Ian Begley reported that “Beal was one of the high-profile shooting guards the Knicks discussed internally during the season as a trade option this summer.”
Following that report, The Athletic’s Fred Katz revealed that the Knicks’ “front office has already let necessary people know the team would be interested in the former All-NBA guard if he were to become available.”
What a New York Knicks trade for Bradley Beal could look like
The 2023 NBA playoffs showed that the New York Knicks are certainly a force in the Eastern Conference, but they are still one big piece away from being a serious title contender. One of the key reasons why they were unable to overcome the Miami Heat in the semifinals was the lack of a reliable second scorer behind Jalen Brunson.
- Bradley Beal stats (’22-’23): 23.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 37% 3PT
Julius Randle was an All-NBA player but again faltered in the playoffs for the second time in three years. Former first-round pick RJ Barrett was given a massive extension last summer but did not take steps forward in his development which only created more doubts about him being a consistent high-level scorer for the team.
- Knicks Get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards Get: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, 2024 and 2026 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick
That’s why a trade for Beal makes a lot of sense and would likely include Barrett. However, Beal has had serious difficulty staying on the court over the last four years, and that combined with his huge contract has diminished his value. That is why the New York Knicks won’t have to give up the king’s ransom they almost did for Donovan Mitchell last summer.
Barrett has value and upside (19.6 points and 5.0 rebounds this season) so a package including him and Evan Fournier’s team-friendly contract would likely be a starting point. If the Knicks added a pair of first-round picks and another draft asset, or former first-round pick Obi Toppin, that could be enough to finalize a deal for Beal in the coming weeks.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.