Bradley Beal was reportedly frustrated about getting criticized for not requesting a trade from the Wizards.
Well, his loyalty to Washington looks a little better now. The Wizards have won five straight to climb into the thick of the postseason race.
“It speaks volumes. It’s always tough because when my name was buzzing, that’s all I heard early in the year is ‘trade Beal, trade Beal.’ It wasn’t anything other than that,” Beal said. “So, me knowing who I am and just sticking through it, that’s a testament to what we did as a team this year.”
It’s truly great Beal feels proud of what the Wizards are accomplishing. A championship needn’t be the only goal. A flawed team, Washington is at least competing for attainable goals. The play-in isn’t nothing.
But also reality check: The Wizards are just 24-33. They’re unlikely to reach a significantly higher level in the foreseeable future. This late surge hurts their draft position and odds of getting someone who elevates the franchise.
That’s important perspective as Beal enters his contract year. This fall, he’ll become eligible for an extension. Or he could hit 2022 unrestricted free agency. If Beal doesn’t sign an extension, Washington will be operating without a net in deciding whether to trade him by the 2022 trade deadline or trying to re-sign him that summer.
Beal has given every indication he prioritizes loyalty to the Wizards. His satisfaction with his current situation is even more reason to believe he’ll stay.