Reports surfaced on Monday that Bradley Beal demanded a trade out of Washington, but Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein moved to quickly refute the reports, giving a statement to the Washington Post.
(1/2) Just spoke with Bradley Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein, re: the report that cites a source who says Beal wants out of Washington.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) November 26, 2018
Bartelstein strongly denies the report.
“That is absolutely not true. The only sources that would know Brad thinking’s are Brad and myself,” Bartelstein said. “And Brad’s focus is 100% on helping the #Wizards play consistent, winning basketball.”
There is no shortage of reasons as to why Beal would want to leave. In general, the Wizards are just not performing at a high enough level after Beal spent six NBA seasons with the team. Furthermore, the Wizards have taken a step back in each of the last two seasons.
Reports of a trade demand from Beal stem from word of a leak from a Wizards practice in which things got heated and Beal voiced his displeasure with Washington’s front office. When addressing the media after reports of the practice surfaced, Beal brushed the moment off.
The Wizards have all the leverage with Beal. He’s on a max contract, the right side of 30 and every team in the league should make calls for him. It’s unclear, however, how willing the Wizards are to move him.
It should be noted that Mark Bartelstein is also Gordon Hayward’s agent. News of Hayward’s decision to sign with the Celtics was leaked prior to Hayward releasing his piece on the Player’s Tribune sharing his decision and Bartelstein refuted those reports as well. His incentive to reveal whether Beal has actually made a trade request is low. If he does, the Wizards lose the leverage they have to make a deal, which makes a trade less likely.
However, that isn’t something players care about. If they want out, they want out. You could also argue that it benefits the player when they’re traded while their value is at its lowest — the team they’re traded to gets that much better.
It’s clear that Beal is frustrated with management and how the team is being run at this point, so his future with the Wizards should be in doubt. But it doesn’t appear to have come to a head yet. If their season continues in the direction it’s going? Who knows.