Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards closed up shop on a surprising season Wednesday evening, losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of the first-round NBA Playoff series.
For Beal and the Wizards, it was a pretty solid campaign. After starting the regular year with a 17-32 record, Washington won 18 of its final 25 games to earn a spot in the play-in tournament. It ultimately defeated the Indiana Pacers to move on to the playoffs.
The question here is now whether Beal has a future in the nation’s capital. He’s been subjected to trade rumors at a near never-ending clip over the past few years. For good reason. As the two-guard has morphed into one of the best players in the Association, his Wizards continue to struggle with remaining relevant. Beal, 27, is also set to hit free agency following the 2021-22 campaign.
The three-time All-Star addressed these trade rumors and his thought process following Wednesday’s season-ending loss to the 76ers.
“Ultimately, I’m in control. I think that’s my biggest thing,” Beal told reporters. “People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S—, they’re starting now.”
Beal also made it pretty clear that he’s not even going to discuss a contract extension this summer with the Wizards.
“So it doesn’t change anything,” Beal continued. “I guess it’s going to increase a lot more this year with me going into the last year of my deal, but for me, I’m just relaxing, resting my body and we’ll evaluate all that when summer comes.”
Coming off a two-year run in which he averaged 30.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists, Bradley Beal would be among the most-coveted trade chips in modern NBA history if the Wizards were to put him on the block. As the former top-three pick noted, he’s pretty much in control of that. A lack of commitment from Beal might force Washington to move off him and acquire a huge bounty in return. That beats the heck out of losing him for nothing next summer.
Potential Bradley Beal trade destinations
When rumors were heating up about a potential trade early this past regular season, odds had the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder as favorites to land the high-scoring guard. Whether that is still the case remains to be seen.
What we do know is that both teams would be great fits. Golden State will more than likely be active during the summer as it attempts to end a two-year playoff drought and take advantage of the back end of Stephen Curry’s prime. It has the assets in James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins and valuable first-round picks to move for Bradley Beal.
As for the Pelicans, they are coming off another disappointing season despite the emergence of Zion Williamson as a true superstar in his second year. Perhaps, offering up All-Star Brandon Ingram and draft picks could get something done on this front.
As it currently stands, Beal refuses to commit to his future plans. That makes perfect sense given that he’s coming off a grueling season and wants to focus on getting some much-deserved rest.
Once the NBA offseason comes calling, rumors about a potential trade will heat up big time. You can take that to the bank.