He remains the target of affection from both the Lakers as an organization and from the team’s fans (as well as much of the NBA). But, for the short term at least, it sure is going to be difficult to get Washington Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal into the purple-and-gold fold.
The dream of Beal in Los Angeles took a bit of a blow this week when Washington general manager Tommy Sheppard made an appearance on local radio—”The Grant and Danny Show” on 106.7 The Fan—and doused cold water on the notion that Beal might be prepared to request a trade, to the Lakers or to anyone, from the team.
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As Sheppard said:
Brad absolutely has been committed to us. Last summer, he signed an extension with us. I think we’re absolutely committed to him. The biggest thing we ask for each other is, ‘Hey, let’s go win.’ He and I have been a straight line of communication throughout the offseason. He’s really excited for next season. He hasn’t given any indication whatsoever on that and I wouldn’t expect to hear about it from anybody but him. He and I have always been straight-line, Grant. And I think he’s as committed to D.C. as he always has been.
Bradley Beal Signed Contract Extension With Wizards Last Year
There was speculation that Beal might look for a trade last year, before the team handed him a two-year contract extension worth $72 million. That could keep him on in Washington until 2023, though he has a final year option that probably will put him on the market in 2022. The Wizards are likely to be able to give Beal a supermax extension that summer.
Sheppard said Beal has expressed no unhappiness in the year since he signed that deal, even as Washington bumbled its way to a 25-47 season, without a playoff appearance for the second straight year.
The Wizards have been a mess of injuries and spent the past year trying to shed veteran players in hopes of bringing in fresh young pieces around Beal. The team still has to contend with point guard John Wall, who has not played since December 2018 as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury, one of the most difficult injuries an NBA player can suffer.
Wall is a three-time All-Star, but with his injury and the remaining three years and $131 on his contract, is currently an albatross weighing down the Wizards’ rebuilding plans.
Bradley Beal Has Heard Trade Chatter
Beal raised some eyebrows last week when he acknowledged that teams have been hotly pursuing him on the trade market, even as the Wizards rebuff all offers. There’s little wonder why he has become such a popular target of contenders like the Lakers, Heat and Clippers—he is only 27 years old and coming off a year in which he averaged 30.5 points and 6.1 assists, both of which were career highs.
Beal appears intent on giving Sheppard and the Wizards a shot at remaking the roster before he pushes for a trade. But he agreed only to a two-year extension, meaning he could still get out of the new deal in relatively short order.
“You still want to be able to protect yourself and kind of be selfish in that regard and (look at) how I can create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning, if I do choose to get out,” Beal said on J.J. Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three. “That’s why it was a one and one versus a full three-year (deal).”
He could look to get out, eventually. But from the Wizards’ perspective, that is not going to happen soon.
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