Beal, 28, has remained loyal to the Wizards throughout his first nine NBA seasons. However, the time may have arrived for him to join an actual contender with the likes of the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics being bandied about the most.
In speaking to the media in his pre-draft press conference, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard indicated that he has received no trade request from Bradley Beal and his camp. In fact, the front office executive is looking to add to a core group that includes the All-Star guard and former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
“Most free agents would like to play with Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, and in Washington DC. I know we’re a tad limited in cap so we will have to be judicious — active in the trade market,” the general manager said, via Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington.
Of course, this could be all about Sheppard putting a positive spin on things. Recently, reports have indicated that Washington was in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that would have sent Westbrook to Southern California. The rumored deal would have shipped Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker off to D.C.
Given the belief that Beal was pondering a trade request, it’s hard to take Sheppard at his word here.
What we do know is that Washington is still ways away from being a true championship contender. Despite seeing Beal average north of 31 points and Westbrook average a triple-double, the Wizards finished with a 34-38 record and were ousted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.