The trade buzz around Bradley Beal never completely goes away, no matter what he says or does. Part of it is a market bereft of franchise-changing players (especially after Giannis Antetokounmpo re-signed with the Bucks and James Harden was traded to the Nets), so both GMs and fans are searching for someone to fill that role. The other part of it is what Bradley Beal has repeatedly said he wants flies in the face of how so many other elite players have acted.
To be clear: Beal doesn’t want to be traded. The Wizards do not want to trade him, at least right now.
Why does Beal want to stay on a 6-16 Washington team? He doesn’t want to quit on anything, his agent told Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports.
“He doesn’t want to quit on something,” Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports & Entertainment, told Yahoo Sports. “He’s an incredibly loyal guy, and he wants to always feel like he’s done everything he can to help something or someone be successful. It’s the way he was raised and what his values are based upon. It’s ingrained in him. It’s what makes him, in my mind, so unique. He’s all about the right things.”
“Brad’s never been someone to run from adversity,” Pure Sweat Basketball’s Drew Hanlen, Beal’s longtime trainer, told Yahoo Sports. “While a lot of other stars have chosen to blame others and run to another team where things are easier, Brad wants to stick things out and help turn the Wizards into a winning franchise.”
That should be celebrated. Fans often complain about the lack of loyalty from players, but when a player like Beal does stay, he gets questioned, asked why he would do such a thing.
Beal, averaging 32.5 points a game to lead the NBA, is getting recognized — he is the leading All-Star vote getter among guards in the Eastern Conference.
Beal will not be traded at the deadline in March.
Beal may be traded in the offseason, not because he wants to go but because it’s the best way for the Wizards to reset a flawed roster and jumpstart a rebuild. The team may try to talk him into it. With Russell Westbrook‘s contract on the books for a few more years and the Wizards having just paid Davis Bertans, there are not a lot of paths forward to make Washington a serious playoff threat. Considering the trade market for players such as Harden and Jrue Holiday, what the Wizards would get back for Beal would give the team a chance to build the right way.
For now, he stays put.
Also, Beal will not play on Friday night against the Knicks due to load management.