The Los Angeles Lakers struggled in the early going of this season, raising questions about their lack of consistent outside shooting.
Although they’ve since recovered, there still are concerns the Lakers don’t have a deep threat they can rely on. Thus far LeBron James has proven to be the best option, as others have struggled with consistency.
Another team that has faced serious issues this season is the Washington Wizards. They were 8-12 through the first 20 games and entered Sunday’s matchup seven games below .500. Due to internal struggles, it was believed All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal became available for trade.
Wall’s contract has largely been deemed untradeable, but Beal is a talented young player who presumably would net a positive return for the Wizards.
As is the case with almost any big name on the trade block, Beal has been tied to the Lakers. According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, one scout sees Beal as an ideal sidekick for James:
“Beal would be a perfect fit next to LeBron,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “He’s a much better shooter than [Brandon] Ingram, and LeBron needs shooters.”
It’s true that Brandon Ingram has not been an ideal fit with James so far this season, but him and Beal aren’t necessarily comparable players.
The idea of Beal and James teaming up is absolutely an intriguing though. As with any trade, there would be concerns for the Lakers.
To start, the Wizards would most likely ask for at least Ingram and one other member of the young core, which doesn’t seem to be worth it for the Lakers. Also, trading for Beal would remove any chance of the Lakers having the cap space for a second superstar next summer.
In all likelihood, Beal won’t be traded to the Lakers for those reasons, but that doesn’t make the pairing of Beal and James any less interesting.