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Bradley Beal said he is enjoying being recruited, leaves door open to bolting Wizards

Washington Wizards v Memphis Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 29: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on January 29, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

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Just a couple of weeks ago, Bradley Beal said it would be “fair to say” he is leaning toward re-signing with Wizards. That aligns with what sources have told NBC Sports: teams expect him to take the bag and re-sign with Washington for five years and a projected $246 million.

When Beal went on the “The Draymond Green Show” with, obviously, Draymond Green, he talked about how much he appreciated the Wizards were not shopping him around and “hanging up” when teams call to ask about a trade. (They apparently didn’t hang up on the 76ers and a Beal trade for Ben Simmons was reportedly close but came apart when Beal needed season-ending wrist surgery.)

However, Beal also said he’s enjoying the attention and being recruited, and he didn’t shut the door on leaving the Wizards. Here are his quotes, with a hat tip to James Herbert of CBS Sports.

“I’m kind of embracing everything,” Beal said, “so I’m not upset about the rumors, I’m not upset about, you know, teams wanting me. I feel like that’s a good thing, right? We put in the work and we’re wanted by a lot of people, not just where we’re at...

“It’s kind of funny. I’ve never been a free agent. It’s kind of reminding me of college recruiting. Like I hear every single game somebody’s recruiting me. Someone’s like tagging on me, whether it’s another player or whether it may be a coach or whoever it may be, somebody’s chit-chatting: ‘B, what you want to do this summer? What you doing this summer?’”

The Miami Heat want Beal, but to make that work would involve Beal being willing to take a little less money, the Heat getting hard-capped, and Miami surrendering Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro in the deal, plus picks and more (if you think the Wizards are taking less, well, lay off the edibles). The easier way to make a Heat trade work is an opt-in and trade (Beal is owed $36.5 million next season but is expected to opt-out), but that is still unlikely. There are
Beal to the 76ers rumors still, too, but that sign-and-trade is even harder to construct.

The advice to Beal from most agents looking at this situation: Take the cash now, we can force a trade in a couple of years if we need to. That remains the most likely scenario (unless the Beal and Kristaps Porzingis pairing goes better than anticipated, then who knows).

Just know the Beal rumors will keep flying until pen hits paper.