Bradley Beal is the face of the Washington Wizards franchise at the moment. He’s a two-time All-Star. With the long-term outlook of John Wall being uncertain at the moment, it’s evident that Beal will likely be Washington’s number one scoring option for the foreseeable future.
But in the last week, Beal became openly frustrated with some of Washington’s losses, including last Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. Beal openly wants a “culture change,” but as Osman Baig noted on Friday, that also starts with him.
David Aldridge of The Athletic (paywalled content) also wrote last Friday that the Wizards must fix things as soon as possible. As Aldridge noted, even though the Wizards signed Beal to a two-year extension that starts in the 2021-22 season that includes a one-year player option the season after, he could still demand a trade out of Washington if there isn’t sufficient progress toward building an NBA championship contender.
There should be no doubt that the Wizards are rebuilding this year, but the team would like to say that it’s a quick one-year “recharging of the batteries.” After all, Wall is returning next season if not sooner.
Though I like seeing the performance of many young players like Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Moritz Wagner, Gary Payton II and others, I also agree that a culture change means that the player foundation has to change when possible. I don’t think the Wizards will be among the Eastern Conference’s best teams in the next couple seasons. And if Beal isn’t ready for that possibility, Washington is going to have to trade him.
It’s understandable why Beal is frustrated with the Wizards’ losing at times, in particular to the sub-.500 Bulls, who also just happen to have Tomas Satoransky and Otto Porter Jr., both of whom played for Washington as well. But I’m also not surprised that Washington will have bad losses from time to time that can frustrate any star. And because of that, I’m not confident that Beal will be in Monumental Red for that much longer beyond this season.