Bradley Beal Says Players Try to Recruit Him to Leave Wizards 'Almost Every Game'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC -  OCTOBER 12: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors on October 12, 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Opposing players apparently aren't hesitating to give Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal the hard sell.

"Almost every game we play, someone says something," Beal told The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor regarding how frequently he gets recruited by his NBA peers.

The three-time All-Star has a $36.4 million player option for 2022-23, and he said he's unsure about his next steps beyond this season.

"It brings you back to college," Beal said. "Which school is the right school? Which team is the right team? You love the fact that people see your game and would love to play with you. But it's also tough on the back end, because you have no idea what you want to do."

Beal didn't look long for the Wizards amid their 3-12 start last season. He cut quite a forlorn figure on the bench at times.

ESPN @espn

Beal 😧 <a href="https://t.co/lb0CgTOrfM">pic.twitter.com/lb0CgTOrfM</a>

But Washington ultimately rallied to qualify for the playoffs through the play-in tournament. That only provided momentary relief in terms of solidifying Beal's tenure in the nation's capital, though.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported in July the 28-year-old was "seriously mulling his future in recent weeks, and at times has been very much on the fence about whether or not he wants to remain with the Wizards."

Charania followed up days later to say Beal wouldn't be going anywhere for now:

Stadium @Stadium

"Sources tell me Beal right now has no desire to leave the Wizards."<br><br>NBA Insider <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a> reports on Bradley Beal as the Lakers-Wizards work to complete Russell Westbrook trade, presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/ATT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATT</a> 5G. <a href="https://t.co/FBkzRqwcLj">pic.twitter.com/FBkzRqwcLj</a>

The Wizards are still gunning for the playoffs, and they might be collectively stronger now than they were last year.  

Washington lost Russell Westbrook but added Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell. The team can probably count on improvement from younger players such as Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford and Rui Hachimura as well.

Still, the Wizards are clear underdogs in the NBA title race. Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey listed them 21st in his power rankings on opening night, and they have a +16000 championship moneyline on FanDuel.

Especially as the trade deadline nears, the speculation about Beal's future will reach a fever pitch if Washington is struggling to make a breakthrough in the Eastern Conference.

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