With other teams interested, should the Memphis Grizzlies make a move?
When recent reports of the Los Angeles Lakers being interested in trading for Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, there seemed to be an outpouring of support for the young guard. Beal has been a staple of Washington’s backcourt for the last seven seasons, but a slew of injuries to his backcourt partner John Wall has put a cap on the level he can achieve. But with the Lakers being strapped for cash, are the Memphis Grizzlies a better option for Beal?
This isn’t really a question of is Beal worth trading for, anybody who’s been watching the Wizards for the last three to four years could tell you he’s a huge asset, but the question is this: is what Memphis would have to give up worth it for Beal?
Just because of Beal’s contract (4 years, ~$28 mil), Memphis would have to give up either Gorgui Dieng, Jonas Valanciunas, or Justice Winslow. Out of those options, Dieng is almost certainly the frontrunner for Memphis, but Washington would probably prefer Valanciunas. For the sake of this article, let’s say Memphis is able to convince Washington to accept Dieng.
After that, the Grizzlies still need about $6.6 million in outgoing value to match the salaries. Washington would want a replacement for Beal at the two, and this deal almost certainly doesn’t happen with the inclusion of Dillon Brooks. Not only that, but there’s probably a pick or two going to Washington as well.
Here’s a basic trade idea: the Grizzlies would get Beal, and in exchange, Washington would receive Brandon Clarke, Marko Guduric, Brooks, and Dieng. The Wizards may also press for the Grizzlies 2022 first round pick, but Memphis could be able to persuade them to leave it.
So is this trade worth it for Memphis? Well, no.
The Grizzlies new front office spent this past offseason putting this team together, and their chemistry seems to be at an all-time high. Remember that early stretch of the season, when Memphis was struggling because none of their young players had played together before? Send Brooks and Clarke away to Washington could reset the Grizzlies progression, and set them back another year or two from being the team they want to be.
Of course a Ja Morant/Bradley Beal backcourt duo would be one of the best backcourts in the league, but it wouldn’t be worth it for the hit to Memphis’ progression, not to mention that it would almost certainly be a short-term move as paying both Morant and Beal while still having enough to build a solid rotational team around them would prove incredibly difficult.