After a wild NBA offseason in which several All-Stars changed teams, there are few intriguing trade candidates left on the market. While league observers have speculated that Bradley Beal could be the next star to be shopped, new Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard reiterated to Brad Botkin of CBS Sports that trading Beal isn’t an idea the club is considering.
“The way that I look at this is pretty simple,” Sheppard said. “If you were looking to build a team, Brad would be the type of player anyone would want to start with. You look at the character, the talent, the age, just the whole package … Brad is without a doubt a core player in this league. Every team would love to have him, and we do.
“So we’ve never considered anything other than a situation where Brad is with us and leading us forward. We made that clear to him on the first day we could offer him an extension, and we’ll continue to make that clear.”
As Sheppard notes, Beal became eligible to sign a contract extension earlier this offseason, and the Wizards reportedly put the most lucrative possible offer on the table as soon as they were allowed to do so. However, if the All-Star shooting guard wants to maximize his potential earnings, it’s in his best interest to wait until at least next summer to sign a new deal, even if he’d like to stay in D.C.
It remains to be seen just how serious Beal is about sticking with the Wizards. He talked earlier this summer about wanting to see what sort of direction the team went in with its front office and its roster, so he has certainly been monitoring Sheppard’s first offseason as the club’s head of basketball operations. Obviously, if Beal were to request a trade, the Wizards may be forced to reconsider their stance on keeping him long-term, but there’s no indication that he plans to make such a request.
With the Wizards expected to be a lottery team in 2019/20 and Beal’s contract set to expire after the 2020/21 season, this will be a situation worth watching, but for now Sheppard remains steadfast in his desire to build around the 26-year-old.