Wizards GM: No Need for Assurance from Bradley Beal on Contract Before Trade Deadline

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2022

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday Jan. 9, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
AP Photo/Scott Audette

Whether the Washington Wizards move Bradley Beal will be one of the biggest storylines of the entire NBA trade deadline, but general manager Tommy Sheppard isn't looking for any guarantees from his team's star player, who has a player option on his contract after this season.

"I think you judge people by their actions," Sheppard told Josh Robbins of The Athletic. "I think we both have been very direct and clear with each other. Ownership has been very direct. His agent, too. We're all on the same page. We want the same things. I don't need an assurance. I don't think he needs an assurance. We keep going forward."

Sheppard also said he and Beal "have a constant dialogue" and have been "very transparent" with each other when asked if the team has to at least consider trading him since there is a risk he could move on after the season.

This comes after Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reported Oct. 1 that Washington offered Beal a contract extension and was willing to ink him to a maximum four-year, $181.5 million deal.

Another avenue would be Beal playing this season, exercising his player option for 2022-23 and then re-signing with the Wizards for five years and approximately $235 million.

Sheppard confirmed the contract extension is still on the table.

"There's no reason to take it off," he said. "It stands all year. He can sign it all season. I've never been anything but transparent. We delivered it the first day that it was available. That's out of respect to him."

Beal, 28, is a three-time All-Star who was on the All-NBA Third Team last season. He has followed up with averages of 24.0 points, 6.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds across 34 games while shooting 45.5 percent from the field this season.

That Washington is a borderline playoff contender this season at 21-20 and the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference could ultimately make the team's decision on whether to trade him even more difficult.

On the one hand, the Wizards could keep him and look to make a playoff push. On the other, the front office could recognize that this team isn't a legitimate contender and make a move with an eye on the future.

But Sheppard made it clear he doesn't need any assurances from the star player before he makes such a decision.