Bradley Beal Trade Rumors: Nuggets Inquired About Wizards Star Around Draft

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

FILE - In this March 8, 2020, file photo, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal drives during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Washington. The Wizards won’t have Beal, John Wall or Davis Bertans when the NBA returns amid the coronavirus pandemic. When the league stopped play in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wizards were 24-40 and ninth in the Eastern Conference.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Denver Nuggets reportedly tried to make a big splash leading up to the 2020 NBA draft by calling the Washington Wizards about Bradley Beal.

Per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Nuggets were among the teams that inquired about Beal's availability "in the days leading to the draft."

General manager Tommy Sheppard has made it clear he considers Beal to be the Wizards' franchise player and the cornerstone in their rebuild. 

"We're building this team around Bradley Beal," he said on The Lowe Post podcast last week (h/t RealGM.com). "He's a tremendous human being. He's a tremendous player. He's exactly what we want to have here with the Washington Wizards."

That comment may have set off John Wall, who hasn't played since Dec. 26, 2018 because of heel and Achilles injuries. 

Per NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller, Wall "was surprised" by Sheppard's comments even though he "understood the thinking considering Beal has emerged as an All-NBA talent since Wall's absence."

On Friday night, though, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Wall "has made it clear" he wants to be traded by the Wizards.

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Beal would almost certainly bring back more in a trade than Wall at this stage of their respective careers. Wall is owed $85.6 million over the next two seasons and has a player option worth $47.4 million in 2022-23. 

The Wizards have Beal under contract through the 2021-22 season for $63.2 million total. He also has a $37.2 million player option for 2022-23. The 27-year-old averaged a career-high 30.5 points and 6.1 assists per game last season.

The Nuggets are in the midst of a championship window, but they haven't been able to get over the hump in the Western Conference playoffs yet. Their interest in Beal makes sense based on where their roster is at right now, but the Wizards have given no indication they want to move him at this point.