The extension that Beal signed in 2019 keeps him under team control through next season, with a $36.4MM player option for 2022/23. That gives the Wizards a little more time to build a competitive roster before facing the possibility of their best player walking away.
Bradley Beal may not be asking for a trade, but he’s clearly unhappy with the current situation in Washington. The Wizards star lashed out at his teammates Sunday after a 22-point loss to the Hornets, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports.
“We’ve gotta have some pride, man, some dog. We’ve got no dog. We just kind of let teams just walk all over us,” Beal said. “… It’s tough because we’re all adults. I can’t do it for guys. I can only do it for myself. All we can do is encourage the next man to be ready to go and accept the challenge. I can’t do that for someone else. I can’t do your guys’ job and you can’t do my job. You know what I’m saying?”
Beal is having a tremendous individual season, leading the NBA in scoring at 33.2 points per game, but it hasn’t translated into team success. The Wizards are 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 5-15 record and are in danger of sliding out of contention for even a play-in game. Much of that is attributable to injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak that forced nearly two full weeks of postponements, but Washington is only 2-7 since resuming play.
Among his post-game comments, Beal offered support for coach Scott Brooks, whose job is rumored to be in jeopardy because of the disappointing start. Beal said Brooks shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of the players.
“I mean, Coach is doing it,” Beal said. “You see the little signs he does. He’s benching guys, he’s taking guys out early. You would think that would kind of click and roll over for us, but it doesn’t.”
Any statement from Beal that expresses discontent will quickly lead to trade speculation. He has repeatedly pledged his loyalty to the organization, and the Wizards have made it clear that they won’t attempt to trade Beal unless he requests it. However, it may get harder to keep him happy as he considers the possibility of wasting one of his best years on a non-playoff team.