Latest on Wizards, Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal - photo via USA Today Sports Images

Speculation around Bradley Beal being sent elsewhere continues to dominate the NBA rumor mill and with the Wizards losing back-to-back games to a pair of under .500 teams, it will only continue to run wild.

After the Pelicans contest on Wednesday, Beal told reporters that he wasn’t happy with losing.

Asked directly if he was frustrated, he responded with a rhetorical: “Is the sky blue?”

Prior to the game, Forbes writer Landon Buford reported that Beal was unhappy with the franchise and that the shooting guard would be meeting with the team to possibly request a trade. While FortyEightMinutes couldn’t confirm that a meeting occurred while the team was on the second half of its back-to-back in New Orleans, a source indicated that Beal has been “respectfully vocal” about his discontent with the Wizards’ on-court situation.

This doesn’t mean he’s demanding a trade; it also doesn’t mean that he won’t in the future. Beal has been clear both publicly and privately that he’s willing to give Tommy Sheppard & Co. a chance to put him in a position to succeed.

It’s important to remember that the Wizards’ current state isn’t solely on the team’s roster construction. Washington began the season without Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans at full strength. Russell Westbrook has been in-and-out of the lineup with a quad injury (though, when he has been on the floor, it hasn’t been great) and just as everyone was hitting a groove, half the team was sidelined because of COVID-19 protocols.

Beal being frustrated and Beal understanding the situation are not mutually exclusive. As it is with all frustrated players, there are ebbs and flows through happiness, content, and displeasure, and demanding a trade is a major step.

For the average man (or woman), think about moving to a new city, taking a new job, or deciding where to go to college. There’s a multitude of variables that must be considered and making a firm decision, while not always final, can be really sticky to back out of. For Beal to take a major step like requesting a trade from the only franchise he’s ever known, it isn’t going to come from a place of emotion but rather a thought out process. This is a major life decision.

Washington isn’t trading Beal unless he wants out, however. The front office vowed not to ship him anywhere he doesn’t want to go when he signed his extension in 2019, per a source, and they intend to honor that verbal agreement.

Evaluating the Westbrook-Beal pairing remains a top priority for the franchise and given that Beal unofficially signed off on the Westbrook trade, he surely understands the need for a larger sample size. Will two more months of games (the trade deadline is March 25) be enough to draw concrete conclusions? That remains to be seen.

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About the Author

Chris Crouse
As a co-owner of FortyEightMinutes.com, Chris Crouse wears many hats, including editor and marketing director. He previously covered sports business at CNBC and he has covered the NBA for various publications, including SLAM Magazine and Hoops Rumors, in addition to working on the business side of media.

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