Bradley Beal Rumors: 'Loads of People' in NBA Think Wizards Better by Trading SG

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal meets with reporters outside the locker room after the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Washington. The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have closed access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all non-essential personnel in response to the coronavirus crisis, the leagues announced in a joint statement Monday night. The Wizards won 122-115. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press

There are reportedly "loads" of NBA executives who feel the Washington Wizards should trade Bradley Beal.

Fred Katz of The Athletic reported opposing teams think the Wizards should dangle Beal for young players and draft picks who could help in what's expected to be a long-term rebuild.

The team signed Beal to a two-year, $71.8 million contract extension in October that only temporarily quieted trade rumors. Many came into the 2019-20 season expecting Beal to be the next superstar on the move because of his substandard supporting cast.

Beal told ESPN's Zach Lowe in April that requesting a trade would have been the "easy way" out:

"Exactly what you just said, it was the easy way. Granted, it looks great, but who's to say it's a guarantee on the other side? For me, the whole summer last year, I kept playing devil's advocate on both sides. If I stay, what are the positives and negatives? If I leave, what are the positives and negatives? 

"Ultimately, I felt staying, the positives outweighed leaving. The reason being is because I had more control here. I have an organization who basically gave me the keys. We're gonna build around you, we're gonna get guys around. If I go anywhere else, granted, it may be a good team, but I would be a piece. Who knows if my role would be the same? My role here, I love what it is. I love [head coach Scott] Brooks. I love what we have. I love our young guys, and I think the fact that we have guys who are committed to getting better."

Beal was in the midst of a career-best season from a personal standpoint before the coronavirus pandemic indefinitely postponed games. He was averaging 30.5 points, 6.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds while helping lead an undermanned Wizards team to the ninth position in the East. In the month of February, Beal averaged 36.2 points and went on a tear after not being selected for the All-Star Game.

After reports surfaced saying Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could want Beal in Brooklyn next season, he told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan the rumors were a "sign of respect."

"It's not the first time I've heard this kind of talk," Beal said. "It's interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I've been doing good things and guys want to play with me.

"That's an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] want you, s--t, that's amazing. At the same time, you don't know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I've put down roots in D.C. I've dedicated myself to this town, this community. I love it here, and it would feel great to know I could grind out winning here instead of jumping to another team. But I'd be naive to say that I don't think about it when these stories come up."

The Wizards have held onto their belief that they can field a winner once John Wall returns from a ruptured Achilles next season and have been historically averse to tanking. So any trade this summer would likely have to come with a significant return or at Beal's behest.