For the past two offseasons, Bradley Beal’s name has been at the top of the list of stars teams hoped would come available in trade talks. The Wizards guard has become one of the NBA’s premier scorers, and while his three-point shooting and defensive impact have both waned in recent years while he’s had to focus on carrying the Washington offense as the lead creator, his profile in both of those areas is still enticing to teams who believe with less of the creative load offensively, he could be a more well-rounded backcourt star.
To this point, Beal has rebuffed questions about whether he will request a trade, insisting both publicly and privately that he wants to be part of building a winner in Washington. However, as the Wizards have continued to fail to put the requisite pieces around him to make that a possibility, every offseason the same questions arise and, with Beal now 28, the patience in getting to that point may be wearing thin.
This past week, word emerged that teams are again sniffing around about Beal, with a report that the Warriors’ stars are making a hard push for their front office to trade their two lottery picks and whatever is necessary to get another player who can make an immediate impact, with Beal at the top of their wishlist. Golden State wouldn’t be alone in looking to push a number of chips in to land Beal, whose skillset makes him the type of star most any team thinks could easily come in and immediately boost their hopes of contending.
On Saturday, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report brought word that Beal recognizes that his decision on whether to ask out of Washington can’t wait until free agency as the best offers are likely to come around this Thursday’s Draft, and if a trade request is to be made, it would come before then.
“He knows he has to make a decision before the draft,” one source with direct knowledge of Beal’s thinking told Bleacher Report. For the past year, people familiar with Beal’s dedicated relationship to the Wizards have consistently rebuffed the notion he had interest in playing elsewhere. Yet a second source close to Beal, when contacted by B/R, confirmed the situation is now fluid.
This is far from confirmation that he is going to ask out, but it certainly brings a more set timetable into when we would know, one way or the other, about Beal’s immediate future in Washington. It is best for both him and the Wizards to have this decision made by Draft night, as it would open up the most possibilities for Beal and the best offers of immediate assets for Washington to sift through and try to find a destination that Beal would be interested (a contender, namely).
In the meantime, fans around the NBA will be trying to figure out what their squad’s best Beal package looks like, because if he hits the market he is the type of player that will garner serious interest from at least half of the league.