When Bradley Beal signed a contract extension with the Wizards during the 2019 preseason, he only tacked one guaranteed year onto his previous deal, plus a player option for 2022/23. However, despite not opting for a longer-term contract that would secure his place in Washington for years to come, Beal says he has no plans to leave the Wizards.
“I hate change. If it happens, it happens,” Beal said in a piece for The Undefeated, as told to Marc Spears. “But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C.”
Beal was viewed as a potential trade candidate before he signed his extension last October. That deal took him off the trade market for the 2019/20 season, but there has been ongoing speculation that another losing season in Washington could prompt the star guard to push for a change of scenery within the next year or two. It doesn’t sound – for now at least – as if Beal is thinking about taking that route.
Despite displaying some occasional frustration with the Wizards’ season, Beal told Spears that the idea of sticking with one franchise and someday having his jersey retired appeals to him. Describing himself as “kind of loyal to a fault” and comparing himself to longtime Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Beal pointed out that it would be more rewarding to one day win a title with the Wizards than to jump ship to join a contender, especially since that path wouldn’t guarantee a championship either.
“I can sit here and say, ‘Yeah, I can go to Boston, I can go to Toronto, I can go to Miami’ … I can go everywhere everybody wants me to go,” Beal said. “But what would that look like? It wouldn’t necessarily be my team to where now I’m in a situation in Washington where I’m being built around.
“I know I’m going to have to take these bumps and bruises,” Beal said of the Wizards’ recent struggles. “I knew this last summer. I knew this, hell, the summer maybe even before that. You just got to grind it out, and stand true to who you are.”
Although the Wizards are just 22-39 this season, they rank ninth in the Eastern Conference and are on pace to exceed the win total oddsmakers projected in the preseason. They’ll get point guard John Wall back from his Achilles injury in the fall and may have a little cap flexibility this summer to add players who can complement their backcourt stars.