CHARLOTTE -- Bradley Beal made the most definitive comments yet about his future on Friday afternoon and it came in an All-Star question-and-answer fan event in downtown Charlotte.
In a forum hosted by ESPN's Molly Qerim, one fan first thanked Beal for all he has done for the Wizards, then followed it up with a pointed question about whether it’s time to “blow the team up.”
Beal first laughed as the crowd reacted with a collective ‘ooh.’ He joked “there’s a lot of tampering going on these days.”
Then, he delivered a clear picture of what he hopes is a long-term future in Washington.
“I hate change. If I can retire in this jersey, I will. I’m all about loyalty,” Beal said.
Beal has said the right things before, but the timing is interesting. With the Wizards outside of the playoff race, he has become the subject of trade rumors. Many fans and media members have wondered if he could be the next All-Star to want a change of scenery.
Beal, though, insists that isn’t in his nature.
“Granted, it goes both ways,” Beal said of wanting to stay with one team. “They can say they won’t trade you and [then they do.] It’s a business at the end of the day, but believe me... my parents [raised] me on loyalty and just constantly even keel no matter what. Tough time last not always, but tough people do.”
Beal, 25, is making his second All-Star appearance. He is averaging career-highs this season in points (25.1), assists (5.4) and rebounds (5.1).
He has two years left on his contract, due about $56 million through the 2020-21 season. Most stars who have left their original teams have done so with one year left on their deals, so all of this will have to be revisited down the road.
But Beal has already thought about the years ahead and has no intention of leaving D.C.
“When you first get [to the NBA], you don’t get control over where you’re drafted. But once you get there, you develop relationships with people. You develop family, businesses, foundations; everything. You create a life there and it’s tough to just up and move after,” he said.
There you go, Wizards fans. You can rest assured, Beal is not plotting his exit, at least not anytime soon.
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