After completing the first season of his five-year, $251MM contract with the Wizards, Bradley Beal admitted that it was a “disappointing” season for the team, which finished with a 35-47 record. However, as Ava Wallace of The Washington Post writes, Beal said on Monday that he doesn’t intend to ask for a trade or to use his no-trade clause as a “trump card” to force the Wizards into certain roster moves.
“That’s an unnecessary thing for me to do. … That’s not me; that’s beneath me,” Beal said. “I’m definitely frustrated. I’m also at peace with where I am and who we are and what we need to do to be better. It’s nothing I can do — I can’t control it. I’m not going to sit here and cuss everybody out. We know where we failed and how we have to be better, and we have to do so. And there’s never one time where I’m like: ‘You know what? I’m out of here.’ But I very well could because I do have the no-trade. But I don’t use it as a trump, no.”
Beal added that he fully expects to be in D.C. next fall and that “you guys would hear” if he wanted out, per Wallace.
He also spoke on Monday about the police investigation that was launched into a postgame altercation with a fan in Orlando last month. The fan involved in that incident reportedly yelled at and insulted Beal because he had lost a bet on the game.
“Nobody wants to lose money. I get it. If you keep it about sports, I’m all for it,” Beal said (link via ESPN.com). “But I think it’s when people start getting personal, talking about your family, talking about your character, your integrity towards the game. I think all of that, we can save it. We can really keep those comments to ourselves.”
Here’s more on the Wizards:
- After Wizards president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard reiterated his desire to sign Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma to new contracts this summer, Porzingis reciprocated that interest during his own end-of-season media session, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “I feel at home here. Believe it or not, I love the city,” Porzingis said. “I know a lot of people are saying it’s not a sexy destination for a lot of free agents, but I really like the city.” Porzingis holds a player option for 2023/24 — he’d be extension-eligible this offseason if he opts in and would need to negotiate a new deal if he opts out. He said he’ll meet with his representatives on Tuesday to begin discussing the decision.
- In a separate NBC Sports Washington story, Hughes identifies several of the Wizards’ most pressing offseason needs, including volume three-point shooting, shot creation, and more athleticism on the perimeter.
- Arguing that the Wizards’ 2022/23 season should be viewed as an abject failure, Josh Robbins of The Athletic notes that the team’s management and ownership appear to still be committed to their “middle-build” philosophy rather than opting for a teardown.