Draft day hasn’t even arrived yet, and NBA teams are already chomping at the bit to get involved in huge summer blockbuster trades. As the first major domino to fall this offseason, the Washington Wizards have agreed to trade Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for what seems like very little in return… and this could not be any more frustrating for the Chicago Bulls moving forward.
It was reported earlier this week that Chicago was teasing the idea of potentially moving LaVine, allegedly “quietly gauging interest” in the All-Star guard. But after the details of this Beal trade came out, getting a deal done may end up being much more difficult than expected.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Beal has opted to waive his no-trade clause in favor of joining Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton in Phoenix. The Suns will be sending Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, and a haul of second-round picks and first-round pick swaps back to Washington.
Following Bradley Beal’s trade, rebuilding this summer just became far more unlikely for the Chicago Bulls.
On one hand, it would seem that removing one of the league’s only premiere guards available would actually serve to improve Zach LaVine’s trade value. After all, the laws of supply and demand would indicate that any remaining bidders such as the Heat or Knicks would need to pay out even more now that Beal isn’t sitting around as a contingency plan.
However, this line of thinking falls completely flat on its face when a consumer completely disrupts the market by not falling in line with these very same rules. On paper, Beal should have fetched a significantly better return from the Suns, rather than an over-the-hill legend, a decent role player, and a few second-round picks.
Much like we saw with the Rudy Gobert trade last year, one bad deal can massively disrupt the market and make negotiating much more difficult for everyone else afterward. I think this will play out much in the same way, but instead of receiving more assets due to Minnesota’s blunder, Washington’s mistake will make teams far more stingy when bartering.
This, of course, will make getting a fair return for LaVine much more difficult. If the Bulls can’t move Zach this summer, then a rebuild is almost entirely out of the question. If a rebuild is out of the question, the front office will more than likely opt to run things back with DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic one more time. If the Bulls run things back one more time, well… I think you know how this story ends.
And it just might be all because the Washington Wizards just traded their star player for a packet of peanuts. Incredible.