Six of the top ten draft picks from the 2012 draft are no longer with the team that drafted them, and that number will likely go up to seven this summer once the Pelicans figure out what they want to do with Anthony Davis.
One could understand if Bradley Beal wanted to join those ranks as well. Earlier this season, he reportedly called out management during the middle of a contentious practice. Furthermore, the Wizards face a steep uphill climb to get back in the playoff race this season and the outlook for next season isn’t much better with John Wall expected to miss a majority of next season—if not all of it.
Thankfully for Wizards fans, Beal has spent all of All-Star Weekend reiterating his commitment to making things work in Washington, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington detailed:
“I hate change. If I can retire in this jersey, I will. I’m all about loyalty,” Beal said.
“When you first get [to the NBA], you don’t get control over where you’re drafted. But once you get there, you develop relationships with people. You develop family, businesses, foundations; everything. You create a life there and it’s tough to just up and move after,” he said.
He also talked to Fred Katz of The Athletic about his mindset as the team enters a new era:
“I’m a firm believer that no matter who we have — I think I can do it with anybody. I feel like it’s possible with anybody as long as you have that work ethic and that dedication to get to that level. But it’s not gonna be easy. It’d be naïve to say that. I’d be naïve to say it’s been a great year. But it’s definitely been one that I’ve embraced and learned a lot throughout the course, too. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
Beal has always been a stand-up guy. There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of these quotes. However, Beal’s potential to make All-NBA serves as a potential wedge issue this summer. If Beal earns All-NBA honors, he will be eligible for a four-year supermax extension similar to the one John Wall signed in 2017. Beal may not feel the same way about the team if they pass on the chance to give him a lucrative long-term extension, especially now that he has established himself as the team’s best player. Since the supermax was implemented in 2017 with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, every eligible player has either signed the extension or asked for a trade before the end of their contract.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens if Beal makes All-NBA this season or next season, but for now, it looks like the team is still working with someone who wants to be in Washington, which carries a high value in this movement-heavy league.