Brad Beal: Loyal or Thirsty?

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Updated: August 13, 2021
brad beal

In a league where superstar players migrate so frequently, it looks like a perpetual motion of musical chairs, loyalty to a single franchise is something that is now a rare occurrence. The Player Empowerment Era has changed the entire dynamics of how teams operate and how franchises plan for the future. Ever since the big 3 in Miami and the titles down in South Beach, player relocation has risen exponentially. Not only in free agency, after the expiration of their contract, but now it has become commonplace for a player with years still on his deal to ask out and even demand a trade. With the track record that has been created these last few seasons, it has proven that when players make these demands, they ultimately get their wishes granted.

All-Star combo guard Bradley Beal has been in countless rumors extending all the way back to last offseason. When the Washington Wizards were somehow able to unload the John Wall contract, a task that many deemed impossible, it should’ve been the beginning of a rebuild. However, with getting Russell Westbrook for Wall, and some of their draft capital already owed elsewhere, the Wizards decided to indulge the fantasy that Westbrook and Beal could form a contender. Luckily for Wizards fans, there is still a fetish-like appreciation for Westbrook’s high motor effort around the league, and the Lakers were willing to give up a pick and a few decent assets in exchange for Russ. They are now perfectly situated for a rebuild following the acquisition of assets that would be collected in a Brad Beal trade. However, it does not look like that is the case.

All current reports indicate that Beal has no desire to be traded and wants to remain in Washington. The Wizards oddly act as if this decision is up to Beal to make. Even if every one of their young prospects took a step up in the next two years, the current construction of the roster still would be nowhere near a true contender for a title. There is not one person in their front office that would put money on them even making the Conference Finals this upcoming season. Beal is a top-tier scorer, this is a fact the numbers prove quite convincingly. However, he is not a top 10 talent or will ever be the best player on a title team. What he is at the moment, is quite possibly the most valuable trade piece outside of Dame Lillard. The magnitude of future assets and young players that he could get on the market would be seriously substantial, and yet their goal is to retain him and keep him content in Washington.

The question that the front office and many who cover the league are ignoring is Brad Beal’s intentions. It has been widely rumored that he would love to pair up with his childhood friend Jason Tatum in Boston. With only 1 year left on his deal, it is very possible that he is just waiting out the season to increase the leverage for the Celtics as Beal’s value significantly diminishes when it is in a sign and trade scenario since he could simply sign with another franchise who has the open cap slot. But the primary reason Beal is not asking for a trade at this moment is he plans to get paid his super-max extension. With his All-NBA selection last year, he is in line for a ridiculous sum of money and a 5-year extension which his camp has smartly talked him into staying for.

For a team that has just experienced handing out a 5-year super-max in the John Wall contract, only to pay him for sitting on the sidelines, it is quite odd that the Wizards are so eager to hand another one out to Brad Beal. If there was a route that would lead to a title or even a Finals appearance then it would be a no-brainer to give him whatever money he was owed. However, the only way that Washington will ever win a title is by maximizing the Beal trade at the deadline. In 30 days all the new young rookie contracts will become tradable. Instead of having to take a large contract plus assets, the entire trade could consist of assets of rookie contracts + picks. I hope for the sake of the DC fanbase that this option is at least being considered, but from the tone expresses by the front office, it appears they will fight desperately to retain Beal and remain a first-round appetizer for the true contenders in the East.

 

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