Bradley Beal would be, by far, the best player available in a trade this season… if Washington was going to trade him. Which their front office has repeatedly said they would not do, and Beal has said he doesn’t want (but occasionally he drops bread crumbs).
The Wizards have shown no inclination to trade Beal, sources say, and might do so only if Beal — under contract through at least 2021-22 — indicates he would prefer to play elsewhere. Could that happen at the trade deadline if the Wizards are bad again?
Rivals are not giving up on Beal becoming available sooner. Multiple strong playoff teams have called teams in the top 10 of the draft, investigating what it would take to acquire those picks, sources have said. Do those teams love a certain prospect? Or are they seeking ammo for a big trade?
Teams looking to win now and who do not look at the Lakers as unbeatable — Denver and Golden State in the West, a few teams in the East such as Brooklyn — are trying to explore a Beal trade again.
“Brad absolutely has been committed to us. Last summer, he signed an extension with us. I think we’re absolutely committed to him. The biggest thing we ask for each other is ‘hey, let’s go win,'” Sheppard said.
“He and I have been a straight line of communication throughout the offseason. He’s really excited for next season. He hasn’t given any indication whatsoever on that and I wouldn’t expect to hear about it from anybody but him. He and I have always been straight-line, Grant. And I think he’s as committed to D.C. as he always has been.”
Washington owner Ted Leonsis badly wants his team back in the playoffs, just to understand where this non-consideration of trading Beal starts. From the top down, the Wizards want to make it try and work with Beal, a healthy John Wall, a re-signed Davis Bertans, and an improving Rui Hachimura. If that doesn’t work, then both Beal and the Wizards need to reconsider their positions.
Just don’t expect that until the trade deadline at the earliest, and more likely next offseason. No matter how many teams make calls.