Bradley Beal on Future with Wizards: 'I'm Giving This Organization an Opportunity'

Adam WellsJanuary 26, 2022

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Washington. The Celtics won 116-87. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Despite blowing a 35-point lead in Tuesday's 116-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Bradley Beal isn't hitting the panic button with this Washington Wizards team. 

Speaking to The Athletic's Josh Robbins after the game, Beal said he's had conversations with general manager Tommy Sheppard and is going to give the "organization an opportunity" to show it's heading in the right direction:

"We’re very transparent with what we want to do and what my future looks like. And yeah, the (trade) deadline is coming up, and I’m very well aware of how we’re playing and how other teams are playing and what my interests are. Granted, I’m giving this organization an opportunity to prove that and show that, and obviously I’m a big factor in that, too, in producing and playing well and performing. But I want to win, and we all know that. It’s just a matter of us doing it. We’ve got the pieces, we have the assets, we’ve got the depth—everything that we bragged about at the beginning of the year. Now let’s put it together and make it work. Speculations are going to be what they are. I can’t control that. But I know what comes out of my mouth, and I know where my heart is, and everyone will know."

The Wizards got out to a 66-31 lead late in the second quarter against Los Angeles. They were outscored 80-49 in the second half, including a 7-0 run by the Clippers in the final 11.2 seconds of regulation. 

Luke Kennard made two three-pointers during that span. He was fouled by Beal on the second one, giving him an opportunity to convert a four-point play to put the Clippers ahead for the first time with 1.9 seconds left. 

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Luke Kennard for the 3 pt contest? 👀<br><br>He is feeling it tonight <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClipperNation?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ClipperNation</a>, came back with a dub. <a href="https://t.co/OdiSG8tSy2">pic.twitter.com/OdiSG8tSy2</a>

Per ESPN Stats and Info, the 35-point comeback was tied for the second-largest in NBA history. The Utah Jazz erased a 70-34 deficit against the Denver Nuggets in November 1996. 

Tuesday's loss was a microcosm of how things have been going for the Wizards for the past two months. 

Since getting out to a 10-3 start, the Wizards have lost 22 of their past 35 games. They have dropped four straight games and are two games under .500 for the first time this season. 

It remains to be seen what direction Sheppard and his staff will take before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported last week the Wizards have had "no real discussion" of moving Beal, even though he "has made it clear he doesn't plan to sign an extension and likely will skip his player option."

Beal has a $36.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season, per Spotrac. The three-time All-Star is only averaging 23.6 points per game, his lowest scoring output since 2017-18 (22.6). He is on pace to set a career-high with 6.5 assists per contest. 

The Wizards have five games remaining before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. ET.