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NBA star casts doubt on staying with franchise, leaves door open for trade demand

For all the trade demands we see, we also witness a lot of loyalty from NBA stars, whether it’s Damian Lillard spending 11 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers or Bradley Beal, who’s also in his 11th year with the Washington Wizards.

Both are incredible players, yet they haven’t had much postseason success, or even the chance to reach the playoffs. Of the two, Lillard has achieved a lot more, with a total of eight playoff appearances, peaking in 2019 with a loss in the Western Conference Finals.

It gets worse for Beal. His Wizards have made just five playoff appearances during his tenure, but has only gotten as far as the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While he’s gotten to the semis in three separate seasons, the last of which came back in 2017, and the Wizards have gotten bounced in the first round in each of their last two appearances in 2018 and 2021.

As of this publication, the Wizards sit in 10th in the East, the final spot for the play-in tournament. If Washington misses the playoffs again, it will be for the second time in as many seasons. This may weigh heavily on Beal, who’s set to turn 30 in June.

After so long with one team, proving you are routinely the best player on the court, there has to be a time when that loyalty wears off. We haven’t seen it yet from Lillard or Beal, but there have been several hints over the years. Our latest, comes from Washington’s three-time All-Star.

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Bradley Beal could become next NBA star to be traded

NBA: New York Knicks at Washington Wizards
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Beal recently sat down with Marc. J. Spears at Andscape for a wide-ranging interview covering everything from his charitable contributions to the Washington D.C. area, to his loyalty to the Wizards, his pursuit of the franchise’s all-time scoring record, and unfortunately, his thoughts on potentially requesting a trade in the near future.

As Beal closes in on the Wizards’ franchise record for points scored,

Beal sits just 474 points behind Elvin Hayes, who had 15,551 points in his nine-year career with the Bullets. Being that the Wizards still have 23 games left to play, and Beal is averaging 22.9 points per game, he’s set to break the record this season. Provided he can stay healthy, as he’s played in just 37 of the team’s 59 games this season.

If Beal breaks that mark, then who knows? Maybe after 11 seasons, he’ll want out. When speaking with Spears, he hinted at the possibility.

“I’m patient, but there comes a time where you have to be a little selfish and draw a line in the sand, for sure. So, I have thoughts in my head but at the same time I stay in the moment. I stay engaged with what we have and what we do and don’t get caught up in noise and just go from there, take it a day at a time, control what I can control.”

Bradley Beal on his level of patience with Washington Wizards

He’s remained remarkably patient throughout his time with the Wizards, but Beal also stressed his desire to win, while noting all the accomplishments he’s already achieved.

“I feel like I’ve accomplished a good amount of my career. I’ve been an All-Star, been All-NBA, averaged 30 in the league. It’s just, ‘OK, what can I do now? What do you want to do?’ Win, win, win, win, win at the highest level, play in meaningful games, win multiple playoff series, get to the Finals, win a Finals. That’s what I want to do. That’s the goal.”

For now, Beal continues to remain one of the most loyal NBA stars we’ve seen as of late, but at some point, his desire to win could outweigh his intent to stick with one franchise his entire career.

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