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Bradley Beal: 'Firmly Believe in My Heart' I Can Win NBA Championship with Wizards

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2022

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Bradley Beal has played 10 seasons in Washington and never gotten past the second round of the playoffs.

That hasn't shaken his belief that he can someday bring a title to the Wizards.

"Winning a championship here would mean the world to me," Bradley Beal told reporters Friday. "That would mean more than up, leaving, and playing with four other All-Stars. I firmly believe in my heart that I can win here."

Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract this month that also includes a no-trade clause. He's just the 10th player in NBA history to receive a no-trade clause in his contract.

While Beal has found himself regularly pop up in trade rumors in recent years amid the Wizards' struggles, he's consistently reaffirmed his commitment to Washington. The no-trade clause gives him essentially all the power in his relationship with the franchise, but Beal undoubtedly has all the power already given the sorry state of the Wizards in recent seasons.

Washington has missed the playoffs three of the last four seasons and has not gotten out of the first round since 2017. Beal has not had an All-Star teammate since John Wall in 2018. Beal himself is coming off a down year that saw him miss the All-Star team while his points per game average dropped from 31.3 in 2020-21 to 23.2 in 2021-22. His 30.0 percentage from three-point range was a career low.

The Wizards are banking on Beal bouncing back from his down year and returning to All-Star form, hoping he can make a solid one-two pairing with Kristaps Porzingis.

As it stands, the path toward a championship is fraught. Beal has made only one All-NBA team in his career; Porzingis has never made one and hasn't been an All-Star since 2018. Washington's roster looks every bit like the mid-tier, early-exit team that it's been for the last half-decade.

Beal's contract will constrict the franchise's ability to make the team better in free agency. That said, there's something to be commended in Beal's desire to stay in Washington and tough out what will likely be several more years worth of mediocrity.

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