NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Bradley Beal, Dennis Smith Jr., MoreMay 29, 2020
The Brooklyn Nets were one of the teams that made the biggest splash last offseason. Through free agency, they added two of the biggest stars in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. And although Durant has yet to play a game for Brooklyn, it could be set up well for future success.
Could the Nets make another big move this offseason? It's a possibility as they might look to acquire a third top-tier player to group with Durant and Irving and make a push for the first NBA title in franchise history.
Even if Brooklyn is quieter this offseason and doesn't trade for a big-name player, there could be some other noteworthy deals that take place and send standout players to new teams.
Here's some of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA, including a potential deal the Nets could look to make this offseason.
Could Beal get added to Nets' talented core?
When Kevin Durant returns from a ruptured right Achilles tendon, he'll join Kyrie Irving to give the Brooklyn Nets a talented core that could help them be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference moving forward. And while Durant and Irving will give the team a top-tier duo, it's possible they could add another star player to make a push for the NBA title.
According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Nets "are in the market for a third star and have internally discussed avenues of acquiring Wizards guard Bradley Beal." Bondy noted that Brooklyn would have to match salaries in a deal for Beal, noting that Spencer Dinwiddie ($11.5 million), Caris LeVert ($16.2 million) and Jarrett Allen ($3.9 million) are its top assets other than Durant and Irving, neither of whom it would want to part with.
Beal, a two-time All-Star, is having a terrific season for Washington, averaging 30.5 points and 6.1 assists, both career highs, over 57 games. He's spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Wizards, who drafted him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2012.
Washington is 24-40 and heading toward missing the playoffs for the second straight season. With Beal set to earn $28.75 million in 2020-21 (the final season of his current contract), it's possible the Wizards could look to deal him if they don't think he'll return beyond next season or if they want to have more money to use elsewhere.
However, Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told Adam Zagoria of Forbes that "there are no Beal sweepstakes" and that he signed his last deal with the Wizards "because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there." So, perhaps the Beal-to-Brooklyn rumors won't actually lead to anything more.
What moves are on the horizon for Knicks?
There's a good chance that the New York Knicks' starting point guard for the 2020-21 season may not yet be on their roster. But it's unknown whether they'll acquire one through free agency, the draft or a trade.
If New York looks to make a deal, one potential target could be Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul. However, Marc Berman of the New York Post recently noted that Paul's salary would only fit if the Knicks "give up salary." And one way they could do that is by trading Dennis Smith Jr., as they would "love to pawn off" the final year of his contract, per Berman.
Smith, who is set to make $5.7 million in 2020-21, has played only 34 games for New York this season, primarily coming off the bench. He's averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 assists per contest, both career lows, while shooting a career-worst 34.1 percent from the field. A trade would not only clear up cap space for the Knicks, but it would also allow Smith to get a fresh start with a new team.
Berman also noted that Kevin Knox (set to make $4.6 million next season) or Frank Ntilikina ($6.2 million) are players who the Knicks might have to add in a potential deal for Paul, in addition to Smith.
Of course, this is speculation at this point, and New York could opt to add a point guard (or two) through free agency and/or the draft instead.
Warriors could 'consider' trading their first-round draft pick
Most years, there are at least a few trades that take place during the first round of the NBA draft. This year, it's possible that the team with the No. 1 overall pick could be open to making a move.
The Golden State Warriors currently have the best odds of landing the top pick in the draft, and according to Monte Pool of NBC Sports, president of basketball operations Bob Myers said the team could "consider" trading its first selection. If that's what the Warriors decide to do, they could probably get a nice return as top-five picks are highly coveted.
"Yeah, we're going to consider all that," Myers said, per Pool. "Now, I don't know if the headline is going to be that we're trading our pick. So, be clear that I said 'consider.'"
It will be interesting to see if this is an option Golden State considers even if it is fortunate at the draft lottery and lands the No. 1 overall pick. While there's not a consensus top player in this year's class (like Zion Williamson in 2019), there are some talented ones who could have big futures in the NBA, such as Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards.