Wizards

Wizards

While Stephen Curry has pulled out of consideration for USA Basketball for the 2016 Rio Olympics because of injury concerns and Pau Gasol has said he might abstain for Spain because of fear over the Zika virus, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal remains hopeful and won't withdraw his name, CSNmidatlantic.com was told by persons with knowledge of the situation.

Beal was considered a longshot before the process began, along with teammate John Wall who has had surgeries to both knees May 5, and remains one. Beal's three-point shooting ability, however, keeps him viable because a team can never have too many shooters.

Curry, who has won two gold medals in FIBA World Cups for the U.S., hasn’t won gold in the Olympics. Chris Paul, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin also have pulled out of the player pool because of injury concerns.

Injuries have been a frequent problem with Beal as he appeared in a career-low 55 games for the Wizards in a 41-41 season. They finished outside of the playoffs and he has had more time to recover than in the previous two seasons when the Wizards advanced to the second round. 

Beal has had stress reactions -- not fractures -- in his lower right leg four years in a row and missed time with a shoulder contusion, concussion, broken nose and pelvic sprain in 2015-16 alone.

What Beal has going for him is he’s a favorite of U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski who recruited him heavily for Duke before he chose Florida instead. The field of 26 will be trimmed to 12 as early as the end of June.

 

Beal’s competition at his position: Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan and Paul George.

Gasol is troubled by Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to health problems in Brazil, but that apparently isn't a major concern for Beal, CSN was told.