As some sources told NBC Sports recently, we had seen this movie before: Beal may have concerns about just how good this Wizards team can be, he may have been frustrated by the process to hire new coach Wes Unseld Jr., but just like in past years all those concerns are not enough to get him to ask for a trade.
"Sources tell me Beal right now has no desire to leave the Wizards."
— Stadium (@Stadium) July 29, 2021
Beal has long said his priority is to win in Washington, and that has not changed. However, the real test may come when he is presented with a contract extension — Beal has one guaranteed year left on his contract (and a player option after that) if he does not give the Wizards some security they still have to think about whether or not they want to risk him walking for nothing.
Washington GM Tommy Sheppard is being bold. The Wizards have agreed to a trade to send Russell Westbrook back to his native Los Angeles and the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the No. 22 pick. That gives the Wizards three more solid rotation players, a lot of depth, and much more trade flexibility (it’s hard to move Westbrook’s salary, it’s much easier to move guys who make around $10-$12 million a season).
Clearly, Beal believes the Wizards can put a better team around him after these moves, one that can do more than just compete for a play-in tournament berth. So he is sticking it out with them for now.
This throws off teams such as Philadelphia and Miami, who are looking for a superstar upgrade and now see Beal as off the table, and Damian Lillard does not appear to be in any rush to push his way out of Portland.