The Wizards are 3-1 in their last four, a run that started when coach Scott Brooks put Thomas Bryant and Kelly Oubre Jr. into the starting lineup, moving Markieff Morris to a sixth man role. That includes an overtime win against Houston on Monday night.
Yet all anyone wants to talk about are the trade rumors. Everyone on the team — including John Wall and Bradley Beal — are available, and the Wizards may ultimately have to trade Beal because he reportedly is bolting after this contract regardless. That’s why he’s yelling at the GM in practice. And Beal is the one Wizard drawing a lot of interest from other teams, the problem is he’s the Wizards’ best player (21.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists a game) and they know it, so they don’t want to give him up and have put the asking price so high nobody is going to take it.
After the win over Houston, Beal tried to squash the rumors, especially the ones that he wants out, speaking with Dennis Smith on NBA TV.
“That’s nonsense. I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, ‘If it didn’t come from the horse’s mouth, it wasn’t me.’ I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work every day, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be.”
Nice try, it’s what he should say from a PR standpoint, but the rumors are not going to die.
It’s highly unlikely Beal gets traded during the season, especially if this recent Wizards’ run isn’t a mirage. This is a team that just has too much talent to miss the playoffs and with that don’t expect a big move at the deadline. Next summer, however, when a team expecting to land a big free agent strikes out, GM Ernie Grunfeld’s phone will ring with teams asking about Beal. He should listen.