Many around the NBA were puzzled last fall when Bradley Beal signed an extension with the Wizards that took him off the trade market for the entirety of the 2019-20 season. Firmly in his prime and getting better every year, it was surprising to see Beal lock himself into a deal with Washington when the team was decimated by injuries and bloated salaries.
With 2020 free agency nearing, Beal spoke more openly and firmly about his relationship with the Wizards in a new episode of JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast, saying, “the organization still has to show me that we want to win.”
Bradley Beal explains why he signed a 1+1 year extension with Washington
"You still want to be able to protect yourself and kinda be selfish. How can I create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning, if I do choose to get out."
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 28, 2020
Beal also mentioned that he wants to see how John Wall returns from injury and that he still relishes the opportunity to have a team built around him, but that the Wizards have not lived up to their end of the bargain.
“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 explained. “That’s why it was a one and one versus a the full three-year (deal).”
Owed $63.2 million over the next two seasons before a $37.2 million player option for the 2022-23 season, Beal is also now eligible to be traded again. Judging from his comments here, this season may represent one final opportunity for the Wizards to prove they are serious about getting back into the postseason if they want to keep Beal around.