Portland Trail Blazers: 3 options to add a third star next to Dame, CJ

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket against C.J. McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Bradley Beal

What it could look like:

The Wizards stance so far on Bradley Beal has been that he’s unavailable as has been previously reported, most recently by Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic. That could change if he declines the three-year, $111 million extension they reportedly offered him — which is the maximum amount they could put on the table.

The Wizards are going nowhere and have one of the bleakest futures in the NBA, if Beal gives any indication that he doesn’t want to be there long-term, then the Wizards should avoid making the mistake Charlotte did with Kemba Walker and trade him while they still can.

Are they smart enough to realize that themselves? That remains to be seen.

Beal would be the best player on the market if the Wizards do decide to shop him, he just turned 26, and played at a borderline All-NBA level last season.

His fit next to Dame and CJ brings the most set of questions of anyone on this list. On the surface, he seems superfluous in conjunction with the Portland Trail Blazers’ current stars and to an extent he is, at least when it comes to each’s ideal position.

As skilled as all 3 players are I wouldn’t worry about it too much though, especially offensively.

The combination of Lillard, McCollum, and Beal would put up points, that much is certain. All three players are plus shooters that can score in a variety of ways. This isn’t a situation where all of them need the ball in their hands in order to be positive contributors.

On the other hand that trio could struggle massively on defense, particularly in a playoff setting against a team who has strong play at the forward positions. (I wonder if there’s any teams that fit that description in the West)

It’s unclear how much of a downgrade Beal would actually be defensively. The Portland Trail Blazers pretty much punted on the idea of wing defense this summer anyways.

Kent Bazemore — who’s really more of a shooting guard — is the Blazers best option to guard opposing Small Forwards and certain Power Forwards right now so the situation is already not ideal.

This trade package fits what a rebuilding team should want – young talent, future draft picks, and salary cap relief. Beal will be highly coveted though, many teams will be lining up to attain his services. Potential suitors like the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets have the ability to offer better packages with more proven young talent.

The Blazers can counter by upping the amount of picks they offer, similar to what the Lakers and Clippers just did. And it might be worth considering mortgaging the future for Beal, players like Damian Lillard don’t come around too often and he’s heading towards the end of his prime. This would be the time to maximize your team in hopes of winning a championship.

Beal probably doesn’t put the Blazers over the top, but Kawhi Leonard doesn’t put Toronto over the top unless the Warriors are dealt a pair of devastating injuries in the Finals. He gets them closer which is the best the Blazers can hope to accomplish at this point.