Every NBA team — particularly ones who have set themselves up to hunt a superstar — has a list of guys they are watching, players they think might be unhappy and want out of their current situation to take on a new opportunity.
Bradley Beal has been on that list for years, yet he has remained loyal to the Wizards. That continued to be true last summer when he signed a five-year, $251 max contract to stay in Washington, a team that is 28-30 and sitting ninth in the East so far this season. These Wizards are not contenders as constructed.
In an interview with Marc Spears of ESPN’s Anscape, Beal talked about wanting to win in Washington and remain loyal but that he can’t be patient forever.
“[The Wizards] can compete. Are we going to hoist the Larry [O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy]? We’re making steps to compete, and we’re doing it on a nightly basis. Shepp [Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard] is making moves to improve the team. So, all I can do is sit back, trust him, trust his process, work with what we are working with. It’s not easy. The grass isn’t always greener. I understand that when you give up, hell, if I go somewhere [else], you’re giving up a lot. So, that factors into a lot of stuff, too….
“I’m patient, but there comes a time where you have to be a little selfish and draw a line in the sand, for sure. So, I have thoughts in my head but at the same time I stay in the moment. I stay engaged with what we have and what we do and don’t get caught up in noise and just go from there, take it a day at a time, control what I can control.”
Bradley Beal isn’t leaving the Wizards this summer, barring some massive unforeseen turn. He signed the max extension and will give Sheppard and company more time to make it work with him and Kristaps Porzingis (re-signing Kyle Kuzma is the Wizards’ big plan for the offseason). He will remain loyal.
But every team with a superstar is always on the clock, and it’s no different with the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal. The clock is ticking, and eventually he may be the guy on other teams’ lists who does shake free.
For now, though, Beal remains patient.