About a couple of weeks ago, I was anticipating Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal representing the USA Basketball men’s national team, where he would lead the team to victories and hopefully a gold medal. Instead, he has the coronavirus, is sitting out the games, and we as Wizards fans are back into “woe is us” mode as it pertains to the lack of any players representing Team USA.
To be clear, I’m just as excited to root for Germany and ESPECIALLY JAPAN because of Rui Hachimura. But most Wizards fans are Americans, and we were SOOOOOOO CLOSE yet SOOOOOOO FAR from seeing a player on our team playing for Team USA.
Okay, with Beal no longer on Team USA, we’ve gone back to the same tired old narrative of the NBA sharks surrounding ESA where the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks offer their overpaid mediocre players for the All-Star, hoping that Tommy Sheppard will be naive enough to take the bait. This tweet is just a representative of the sentiment some other NBA team’s fans are thinking should happen.
I think the Celtics can get Brad Beal without giving up Tatum or Brown if they play their cards right— Dan Lifshatz (@DanLifshatz) July 24, 2021
Just my opinion
It’s one thing to start a rebuild. But it’s another when the traded players don’t yield much. That’s why trades are hard to do. But anyway, let me cut to the chase and quit the hyperbole.
Last weekend, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported that NBA teams were on high alert because Beal was seriously weighing his options on whether to request a trade from the Wizards, especially before draft day.
Word has spread across front offices around the NBA: Bradley Beal is weighing whether to request a trade from the Washington Wizards.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 24, 2021
“He knows he has to make a decision before the draft,” said one source with knowledge of Beal’s thinking. More @BR_NBA: https://t.co/M1vhNx0ZRn
Given how many years in a row I heard this narrative, I wasn’t in the mood to post about it. The Olympics matter more to me. But also over the weekend, Fred Katz of The Athletic (subscription required) also reported that Beal has NOT requested a trade.
There is one nugget in Katz’s article as to why this narrative of Beal making a decision about his future in Washington blew up Wizards fan circles on social media in the last couple days. According to Katz, Beal is frustrated with the Wizards’ head coaching search because they didn’t hire Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Sam Cassell, a former Wizards assistant for the job.
This is despite the fact that Beal believes that his tenure would give him some input on a major front office decision, like whether to let go of then-head coach Scott Brooks and replacing him with Denver Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld, Jr.
I don’t think Beal is doing anything out of the ordinary here with pondering over the future. But at the same time, I don’t see the Wizards competing for an NBA championship until his and Russell Westbrook’s contracts are off the books, perhaps as early as the 2022-23 season assuming neither take up their options.
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