From time to time, I have to speak on behalf of Bullets Forever to make a point to Wizards fans at large. Commenters’ points aren’t necessarily reflective of the writers or myself.
Yesterday, I came across one tweet which noted that some commenters here aren’t fans because they believe that the Wizards are better off without Bradley Beal on the roster.
And to Domo’s point, some of you apparently believe just that.
I am always going to let commenters say what they wish so long as they aren’t personally disparaging other users in the process. The United States is a country with free speech, and people should be allowed to state their opinion, so long as it doesn’t threaten anyone’s safety or otherwise.
There is no shame in stating an opinion, even if you’re proven wrong in the future. That has happened to me plenty of times over the years. I’m ready to eat crow when that happens.
But so I can put this on the record, I don’t think the Wizards are better off without Beal this season. Even if Ish Smith is playing 2000s-era ball to the point where it’s leading the Wizards to close wins.
Yes, I am in the camp of Wizards fans who believe that the Wizards must entertain trade offers for Beal given their current situation. The Wizards aren’t contending for more than the first pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, no matter how we try to spin things.
But since Beal signed a contract extension and that he cannot be traded until next season, if ever, I also get that he’s staying here for the season. It should also be known that I do think the Wizards have to examine his trade market at the first available opportunity. But that is not the same thing as saying that the Wizards are a better team without Beal.
Beal, even if his efficiency is turning from Meessemanesque to Tayler Hill-esque rates, is a valuable part of this Washington team. We know that he was going to face fierce opposition this season. There’s no way you’re going to get me to say that this team is better off without Brad, even if some of our commenters, who are real fans of the team, believe that that is the case.
I’m also not one to post a hot take of the 1,000 or so trade scenarios that can happen on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine. I already find that tool cringe-worthy though it certainly helps the coverage around the association, especially as we head toward the trade deadline on Feb. 6.
Of course, we’re all still wondering about what John Wall will bring to the table for the Wizards, whenever he comes back. Yes, I wish that he comes back to 100 percent, even 110 percent health.
For the Wizards, a 110% healthy John Wall. https://t.co/JpcoNVhZ4f— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 25, 2019
The reality is that most players with Achilles tendon ruptures just aren’t as effective anymore. It will be very difficult to see Wall reach All-Star form ever again, even if I’m rooting for him to do just that. And since Wall is on a supermax contract, I just don’t see any team willing to take on his salary under any circumstances, barring Wall returning to All-Star form, if not better.
Of course, we also have to get back to Beal, the one Wizards All-Star who is still healthy enough to play in a pinch. I already mentioned that it was time to look at his “load management” before New Year’s Day.
We already know that Beal can play very close (if not already) at an All-NBA team level. The 2019-20 season was going to be about rebuilding the Wizards’ roster and we’ve already seen a lot of promise.
To the point of Wizards fans who take issue with fans who think Beal should be kicked to the curb, maybe we should start talking more about the rotation players who are making a difference. Like Ish Smith, Gary Payton II or even Johnathan Williams.
In the end, the Wizards aren’t better off without Bradley Beal in the short or long term. Even if some want Beal to get traded next season, it’s also in everyone’s interest to make sure that Beal is healthy and performing at a high level until another team believes his contract is worth the cap hit. The same goes for John Wall.