On Thursday, the NBA released its second batch All-Star vote returns. The good news is that Bradley Beal is still the leading vote recipient among Eastern Conference guards!
The second returns for #NBAAllStar Voting presented by AT&T!— NBA (@NBA) February 11, 2021
VOTE NOW on https://t.co/LJPDRHEugp, the NBA App or on Twitter using #NBAAllStar #FirstNameLastName.
️: https://t.co/CXy9KEYXBe pic.twitter.com/Gv5wGSY55I
Currently, Beal has 2,528,719 votes, a margin of more than 400,000 votes over Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. Russell Westbrook remained ninth in the returns.
Since voting ends on Feb. 16 and since Beal is still leading the East, it seems likely that he will finish with the most votes among all Eastern Conference guards. This is notable because the Washington Wizards are 6-16 with the second worst record in the conference. It’s rare to see a player on an outright bad team leading the returns like this, unless he is a legendary player about to retire (ex. Cal Ripken, Jr. during his last year with the MLB’s Baltimore Orioles in 2001) perhaps.
My hunch as to why Beal is doing so well is because he is the NBA’s leading scorer with 32.8 points per game and because he is a coveted trade target for every contending team. So Lakers, Pelicans, 76ers and other team fans are voting for Beal, in the hopes that they can get him soon, but also because they genuinely like his play. The NBA Trade Deadline is on Thursday Mar. 25 so expect Twitter reports of a multi-team bidding war for Beal in the weeks ahead.
To be clear, the Wizards have indicated that Beal isn’t available and Beal has reiterated that he wants to stay in D.C. for the long haul. However, it’s difficult to see this team make a run for the playoffs this season, or even the next several seasons given that Russell Westbrook has yet to play at a consistent level. So ... yeah.
For now, KEEP VOTING FOR BRAD!