The Wizards need to figure out the source of Bradley Beal‘s frustration and address it right away, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. Beal lashed out at the team’s “culture” after a tough loss Wednesday in Chicago and said he was frustrated to keep seeing “winnable games” slip away. A source tells Aldridge it was the angriest he has seen Beal since he came to Washington in 2012.
Aldridge notes that the organization went through a major culture change during the offseason, possibly sparked by a similar tirade from Beal last year. Tommy Sheppard replaced Ernie Grunfeld as general manager and upgraded the Wizards’ development staff and pro personnel office. The team now values analytics and second-round draft picks and has a direct relationship with its G League affiliate.
With those changes in place, Aldridge suggests that Beal is now upset about the culture inside the locker room, specifically a lax approach to defense. Whatever the issue is, Aldridge notes that Beal has plenty of close friends around the league who would love to play alongside him. He signed a two-year extension in October, but could start looking for a way out if things don’t improve next season.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- John Wall participated in a “controlled” four-on-four scrimmage with teammates at today’s practice, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. It’s a step up for Wall, who had been playing four-on-four with the player development staff. He has also taken part in three-on-two and two-on-one drills with other Wizards players, said coach Scott Brooks (Twitter link), who added that he still isn’t sure if Wall will try to return this season.
- Jordan McRae‘s ankle injury appears less serious than the Wizards originally feared, Katz adds (Twitter link). McRae was in a walking boot after Friday’s game, but he was able to practice today as a limited participant.
- Sheppard is restoring fans’ faith in the front office with a series of successful moves, observes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. First-round pick Rui Hachimura looked like a solid NBA player before his injury, while Davis Bertans, Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga were all acquired for virtually nothing in return. Sheppard also opted to sign Ish Smith instead of giving a big contract to Tomas Satoransky, and has gotten good production from Garrison Mathews, Anzejs Pasecniks and Gary Payton II.