The Toronto Raptors could be making another big splash in the trade market, as Sean Deveney of the Sporting News is reporting that they're interested in trading for Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
However, acquiring the 2018 All-Star would come at a hefty price, per Deveney. Toronto would have to sacrifice defensive stalwart OG Anunoby, breakout performer Pascal Siakam and a pair of first-round picks.
Deveney acknowledged that a trade for Beal is a "longshot," since the Raptors would have to keep their young stars in tact, should superstar Kawhi Leonard decide to leave in free agency.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the struggling Wizards would be listening to trade offers for all their players, including Beal and All-Star point guard John Wall. However, the latter is harder to trade because of his massive contract that kicks in next year. Beal is only 25 years of age and carries a much more manageable deal.
The Raptors are currently second in the Eastern Conference with a 28-12 record, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks. On one hand, adding another star to their championship caliber makes good sense in order to load up on a deep playoff run. But if Leonard departs in the summer, Toronto will need to build around guys like Anunoby and Siakam.
Toronto already has perhaps the deepest and most talented roster in the Eastern Conference, so Masai Ujiri might not feel the need to make any major changes. The Wizards could also earn better trade offers from other teams, so a Beal trade to Toronto doesn't add up.
What This Means
The Wizards haven't begun their inevitable roster tear down yet, but it could start up at any point now. Beal is easily their top trade asset, given that he's three years younger than Wall and has a less lucrative deal.
As for the Raptors, they have to decide if trading for Beal and mortgaging the future is worth it, or if they're better off keeping the current group. It should be an interesting next few weeks for both the Raptors and Wizards.