With John Wall set to miss an extended period of time due to injury, the Washington Wizards are no longer expected to make much impact in the Eastern Conference this season. However, despite how the 2018-19 NBA season turned out for the Wizards, Bradley Beal remains committed to bringing an NBA championship title in Washington. During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, Beal admitted that he had a conversation with some of the incoming free agents, trying to convince them to join the Wizards next summer.
According to Haley O’Shaughnessy of The Ringer, Bradley Beal decided not to give any specific name to avoid being fined by the NBA for violating the league tampering rules. However, Beal looks very optimistic about the Wizards’ chances of acquiring a big name in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“In July,” Beal said, “hopefully we can do something.”
Some of the soon-to-be free agents present during the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend include Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. Successfully acquiring one of those superstars could turn the Wizards from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. However, O’Shaughnessy believes that it is more likely for Bradley Beal to be recruited by other NBA teams than convinced a superstar to team up with him in Washington.
“It’s easier now for a player who’s locked into a contract to leave prematurely than it is for a franchise that’s locked into many contracts to fix its payroll. Considering the state of the Wizards, it’s more believable in this new era that Beal, despite having two seasons left on his current maximum contract, was the one being recruited.”
For #NBA All-Stars like #Wizards guard #BradleyBeal, their weekend is filled with sponsor and endorsement obligations, ensuring that it's not all fun and games. My story on @RealDealBeal23 for @ForbesSports https://t.co/oRV16EooLu— Shlomo Sprung (@SprungOnSports) February 19, 2019
During his conversation with other NBA superstars, it is highly likely that Bradley Beal was not the only one acting as the recruiter. Some of them might have also given their own pitch to Beal, persuading him to leave the Wizards. However, the 25-year-old shooting guard is under contract with the Wizards until the 2020-21 NBA season, and as of now, he hasn’t shown any indication that he’s planning to demand a trade.
Bradley Beal said in numerous occasions that he wants to finish his NBA career with the Wizards. In an interview with Candace Buckner of Washington Post, Beal said that he would be labeled a “quitter” if he demands a trade. However, if he sees that the Wizards are no longer trying to win, Beal opens up the possibility that he could change his mindset and find his way out of Washington.