Bradley Beal Hasn't Requested Wizards Trade Despite Rumors, GM Tommy Sheppard Says

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) reacts after Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said Wednesday neither Bradley Beal nor his representation has requested a trade.

Sheppard told reporters he feels there are free agents who would "love" to play with Beal and Russell Westbrook next season.

B/R's Jake Fischer reported Beal was considering making a trade request ahead of Thursday's NBA draft.

Beal's future in Washington has been the source of speculation for years, due in large part to the team's continued inability to build a contender. However, Beal has never requested a trade and in fact signed an extension that kicks in this season—albeit one that gives him the option of becoming a free agent next summer.

Beal's impending free agency has created a sense of urgency that did not previously exist. If Beal plans to leave a year from now, the Wizards need to act immediately and begin shopping the All-Star guard.

It could be argued that the Wizards would be better off long-term making a move now rather than continuing to kick the can down the road. The team has no obvious path toward the type of improvement that would have it slated as a serious contender. Contracts for Westbrook and Beal take up a significant portion of their cap, and Washington has nothing in the way of especially promising young players on the rise.

Westbrook, traded three times in as many offseasons, does not have significant trade value. 

Beal is the only player on the roster who could truly kickstart a seemingly necessary rebuild in Washington.