Bradley Beal’s future in Washington could be coming to a close in the near future according to The Washington Post.
Beal, 26, can signs three-year max contract with the Wizards this month but if he doesn’t then look for the Wizards to move him. Beal has shown loyalty during his entire tenure in Washington when they took him No. 3 overall in the 2012. Beal was even loyal to the team during the unprecedented down year for the franchise.
“I’m just going to give it all here until I can’t no more, until they don’t want me anymore,” he told reporters in February.
Beal had a career year during the 2018-2019 season averaging 25.6 points and shooting 47.5% and was the focal point of the offense after John Wall went down with his ankle injuries.
With John Wall out for the majority or all of next season and after the Wizards traded away most of their veteran assets in exchange for second round picks and young talent it seems like the franchise has entered a rebuilding period and Bradley Beal has made it clear: he wants to win.
The Wizards and Beal have remained in close contact all summer and the team plans to offer Beal the three-year, $111 million extension but many executives around the league don’t believe that Beal is willing to sign the contract and that Bradley will not remain in D.C. for the rest of his career.
“He’s out of there,” one NBA executive told The Washington Post.
Tommy Sheppard has run the day-to-day operations in the front office as he serves in the interim President of Basketball Operations role after the Wizards dismissed longtime executive Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. Although team majority owner Ted Leonsis has a great deal of confidence in Sheppard, Beal will take time to decide if he wants to remain in Washington once the general manager role is fulfilled.
“I’d be naive to say I wouldn’t be [interested in extension talks],” Beal told The Washington Post on June 24. “Washington is where I’ve been the last seven years, going on eight. It would be great to play in one place forever. But at the same time, you want to win and make sure you’re in a position to do so. I’m definitely going to evaluate who we hire as the GM and who we pick up on the team. All that plays a factor.”
If Beal isn’t traded, he will remain in Washington for at least two more seasons while being paid $55 million for his services.
Beal won’t likely be traded by the Wizards which is something they stuck to when they traded Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls before the trade deadline in February. They have publicly maintained that route this off-season after the Pelicans called and asked about Beal’s availability. Washington declined to talk to any teams about trading Beal.
Although Beal isn’t on the trade market it hasn’t stopped attracting interest from teams who will be in the playoff race next season and beyond as the Heat, who just acquired Jimmy Butler, were connected to the Bradley Beal trade rumors according to the Miami Herald.
The Heat reportedly inquired about a potential trade for Beal earlier this month. The Heat were also interested in taking on John Wall’s contract which has turned into an atrocious mess for the Wizards this off-season. Wall is owed $141.1 million over the next four years but will be out of action until February at the earliest.
Sheppard has told multiple members from the media that the Wizards aren’t interested in trading Beal or Wall.
“It’s never crossed our mind,” Sheppard told The Athletic “Bradley is somebody we’re building around. He’s been involved with everything we’re doing in the draft, free agency. We need his opinion. We want this team to be a reflection of what he is all about.”
As for Wall Sheppard told The Athletic that Wall was “one of the top players in the NBA hands-down.” Sheppard believes that Wall will be able to get back into peak shape and continue to take the Wizards to the playoffs.
If the Wizards were to trade Beal they would need to pull off a Paul George to the Clippers type trade and acquire four-to-five first round picks and a couple of young players that are already in the league.