Recent reports from Queen City Hoops’ Spencer Percy and the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell have linked Washington Wizards wing, Bradley Beal, to the Charlotte Hornets. The third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft (behind only Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), has been made available by trade from the Washington Wizards, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, reported earlier this week.
Percy stated that the Hornets are “active” and “engaging” in talks with the Wizards about a possible deal. He mentioned Marvin Williams and Nic Batum as two players that could be seen as salary filler, should a trade come to fruition.
Beal, still only 25 years old, is averaging 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists this season. He is in the third year of a five-year-long contract extension signed back in 2016.
The Hornets have a plethora of assets that the Wizards would likely be interested in if talks become serious. Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, and Willy Hernangomez are among these assets. It has also been noted that Charlotte is willing to give up a first-round pick and that the urgency to upgrade the talent around Kemba Walker is significant, per Spencer Percy.
This whole rumor – it’s just a rumor – benefits off of timing. The Wizards are currently 6-12 just 18 games into the season, while the Hornets are at a crisp 9-9, sitting at 7th in the Eastern Conference.
Kemba Walker is averaging 29 points per game this season, and if Charlotte cannot get him help soon, it’s inevitable Walker burns out before the playoffs arrive.
If the Hornets are able to acquire Beal, it would finalize the long-term direction of the franchise, whether it be for better or worse.
As if the tension wasn’t high enough, 2017 first-round pick Malik Monk did not play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Charlotte’s most recent game, seemingly adding fuel to the endless speculation fire. Willy Hernangomez, who former general manager Rich Cho traded for in February, also did not participate (this may have been due to injury, however).
It will be very interesting to see what the Charlotte Hornets do, whether it be acquiring Bradley Beal or not.