Report: Bradley Beal “Not Rejecting” possibility of trade at the deadline
According to longtime NBA reporters David Aldridge and Josh Robbins, there has been increased uncertainty about Bradley Beal’s future in Washington. After starting off this season on a hot streak, the Wizards have fallen off a cliff and currently sit in at the tenth spot in the Eastern Conference with no real signs of competing at a higher level.
There have been rumblings of a divided locker room, players wanting the team to trade Spencer Dinwiddie, and now an extra flurry of rumors around Bradley Beal’s long-term plans. He initially denied signing an extension earlier this season, and he has made some interesting statements surrounding his future.
In the report from The Athletic, they highlighted how Bradley Beal is in fact looking to compete for a championship. It seems the general feeling around the Wizards has not changed for Beal, he would prefer to stay and try to win. But his openness to a change of scenery has increased this season.
The Wizards have also remained stout in their position of wanting to keep Beal, but their lack of ability to put a competitive team around him has hurt their chances of retaining him. He has been frustrated with their disappointing season, and would consider another appearance in the Play-In Tournament a failure for the year.
Washington’s President, Ted Leonsis has reportedly been against any full rebuild with the Wizards. While he does trust the management in the front office, he would prefer not to go through the tanking process. There have been reports of the Wizards being interested in Domantas Sabonis and/or Jerami Grant to help boost this team’s ceiling, but Washington is reluctant to move on from Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija.
There is a lot of money at stake for Bradley Beal depending on what they decide to do. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and could go one of two ways. If he chooses to leave Washington and sign with a different team, he would be able to get a max deal worth approximately $180 over the span of four years. Comparatively, if Beal ultimately decides to re-sign with Washington, he would be eligible for a super-max worth $241 million for the next five seasons.
The 76ers were directly mentioned in this article for obvious reasons, but it did not seem like there was anything substantial from either side:
“Philadelphia has made no secret that Beal is on its short list of players for whom it would trade disgruntled guard Ben Simmons, who has sat out all season. But the 76ers won’t include an additional piece, such as exciting young guard Tyrese Maxey, along with Simmons in a potential trade for Beal, per league sources. Philly has similarly held firm that it won’t put third-year forward Matisse Thybulle, a terrific wing defender, in a Simmons package.”David Aldridge & Josh Robbins
Philadelphia would undoubtedly be the best available trade partner for Washington, even without including either one of Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle. Bradley Beal also immediately make the Sixers legitimate contenders if a deal were to be made before the deadline, but that seem unlikely. With tensions rising in Washington, and the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the situation is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Bradley Beal has been elite player in Washington for nearly a decade, and his connections to the community have been a large part of his reason for staying loyal to the franchise. After some relative success early in his career, the Wizards have failed to become competitive again. This prolonged state or mediocrity could push Beal to seek out a change of scenery.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Nwachukwu