SNIDER: Time for Wizards to trade Beal


Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is loyal. He never wants to part with core people, believing they can turn things around in time.

But time is up for this version of the Wiz. After a 10-3 start under new coach Wes Unseld, Jr., they've gone 14-25. This team has regressed from recent years. Attendance is among the NBA's worst. There's no expectation of reversing nearly 40 years of ineptitude.

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It's time for hard decisions. Time to trade players for prospects because this crew has no chance of success. There's no patching this Titanic roster. It's a total rebuild.

And it starts with Bradley Beal. Too bad Leonsis won't do it. Unless Beal stands on Leonsis' desk and demands a trade, the guard is staying for the rest of the season.

The problem is Beal can become a free agent this summer (an option he's reportedly leaning towards). Leonsis is banking on Beal re-signing for $242 million over five years rather than a four-year, $181 million max deal elsewhere. But, it's a franchise-killer if Beal walks away with no trade compensation.

It's not easy to part with Beal, though. He's clearly the team's best player despite a down year and now being hurt. Beal averaged more than 30 points each of the last two seasons and more than 20 per game in six straight years.

But Beal doesn't carry the team like he once did. Trade him for a high pick and now that Ernie Grunfeld's gone, there's a chance the Wiz could select someone in the draft that contributes.

If Washington can't get a top pick, maybe trade for Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons, Indiana's Domantas Sabonis or Detroit's Jerami Grant. Just make sure Simmons really wants to play after boycotting the 76ers.

Montrezl Harrell, Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant and Spencer Dinwiddie are also players of interest. Trade them for someone who can help this 22nd-ranked defense or hit a three-pointer, because coaches seem to have lost faith in Bertans.

Dinwiddie hasn't looked like his pre-torn ACL days. He's only around the rim half of the time of the past and shooting 38 percent this season. Yet, maybe someone else thinks they can help the point guard regain his form.

Harrell is a former Sixth Man of the Year who's playing respectably, but the Wiz have several players at his position to make him expendable. Or, trade Bryant instead.

The Wiz need to do something, because what they're doing now is just returning to the basement where they've spent the last four decades. If it means making a big move, then do it.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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