ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has announced that Bradley Beal will undergo season-ending surgery for an injury to his left wrist. The surgery will repair a torn scapholunate ligament.
Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, has confirmed the news as well. It was reported that Bartelstein was in Washington this week to meet with the Wizards’ front office. It seems likely this was a major topic of discussion.
The timing of the news is a bit interesting as earlier in the day Domantas Sabonis, widely reported as the Wizards’ top trade target, was traded to Sacramento. It begs the question, did Beal decide to shut it down for the year once the Wizards’ top option was off the table? I can’t help but wonder if he would have been able to play through the injury if the team had greater prospects of making a playoff push.
This makes it increasingly more likely the Wizards will be sellers at the deadline and try to get assets in return for veteran players who are no longer needed to chase the play-in game. Expect players on expiring contracts like Harrell and Bryant to be moved. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope seems like a likely candidate as well.
Ted Leonsis has repeatedly said the Wizards will not tank but this may give him enough cover to allow the Wizards to pack it in for the rest of the season and attempt to “earn” a better lottery pick. On Bleav in Wizards, we have been profiling late-lottery picks that might make sense for the Wizards, including Memphis’ freshman center Jalen Duren this week. Based on this news, I think it might be worth evaluating even more highly regarded prospects like Johnny Davis or Jaden Ivey, who are projected closer to pick 4 or 5.
The major downside for the Wizards, of course, is what to do with Bradley Beal this offseason. They seem locked in on the notion of offering him a new five-year, $245 million contract but now are offering that deal to a player who was have a really down season and is now coming off an injury. This injury doesn’t seem like anything near the magnitude Gilbert Arenas was recovering from when he signed his lucrative deal but it does still give me waves of anxiety to think about.
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