For the last few seasons, the relationship between the Wizards and Bradley Beal can best be described as committed. Despite Beal’s continued improvement and larger role in the offense, the Wizards have not done what’s necessary to keep talent around him. Some of that has to do with poor management, but you also have to consider the money involved and the fit of the roster. Washington has put a ton of money into the backcourt duo of Beal and John Wall. They even gave Beal a contract extension back in October.
This duo is who the Wizards believe is their best path to success. But many critics have not agreed with them on that. The usual feeling when it comes to Washington is that one of the Beal/Wall duo needs to be traded so it can receive assets in return and re-tool around the remaining star. In most cases, Beal is the one that fans believe should be traded, mostly because Wall’s contract is an albatross and he’s injury prone, making him the more difficult player to move.
This summer, when the Lakers were trying to collect talent to put around LeBron James, there were rumors of Los Angeles interested in bring in Beal. Of course, they ended up with Anthony Davis and Beal is still in Washington, likely in for another losing season. But Beal isn’t interested in hypotheticals about what could have been.
Following the Wizards loss to the Lakers on Friday, Beal was asked if he ever thinks about “what if” situations. What if he had gone to the Lakers? What if he had been traded to a title contender? Despite the losing, Beal seems content in Washington. Via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
“I’m good. They’re their own men. They make their own decisions. At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee you’ll win a championship by jumping ship. Only one team wins. When it comes down to my decision-making, I really factored that in. It looks great, but the grass isn’t always greener.”
It’s worth mentioning that, despite all the issues the Wizards have had, Beal has never officially requested a trade. Early last season he shot down rumors that he had requested one and by signing that contract extension it appears he’s doubled down on staying in Washington.
In a league where player movement is not only normal but encouraged, there are still players that want to stick it out in their current situations. This doesn’t mean Beal has undying loyalty to the Wizards, but he seems pretty content to just stay in Washington, get buckets, and earn a lot of money doing so. It also helps that, while the Wizards are going to lose a lot, they’re easily one of the most entertaining teams in the league. Losing might not be fun, but the basketball certainly is while they wait on Wall to get healthy.