Bradley Beal made headlines on Friday afternoon when he said in an All-Star Q&A that he wants to stay with the Wizards for many years to come, that he hopes to “retire in this jersey” and that he is “all about loyalty.”
That suggested he will not become the next NBA star to request a trade. But the topic of a trade request was never actually discussed.
So, a few hours later, NBC Sports Washington caught up with Beal for a 1-on-1 interview at the All-Star Celebrity Game to expand on those thoughts.
Beal explained in detail why he has no plans to ask the Wizards for a trade, and how he doesn’t envision a scenario where that could happen.
“I mean, look where that’s gotten a lot of guys now. It doesn’t always play out in your favor,” he told NBC Sports Washington.
“So, I’m thinking like what good could that bring me? In my head, that’s just more turmoil for the team. It’s another distraction."
Beal, 25, has two years left on his contract with the Wizards. He is due $27.1 million next season and $28.8 million for the 2020-21 campaign.
Beal was picked third overall by the Wizards in the 2012 NBA Draft. He has since developed into a two-time All-Star and has helped lead the Wizards to the playoffs four times in the past five years.
This season, however, things have gone south for the team. John Wall was lost for the year due to a torn Achilles and Dwight Howard has appeared in only nine games due to back surgery.
The Wizards have made five trades since training camp, including ones to ship mainstays Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris out of the organization.
They are currently 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break, which has put the spotlight on Beal’s future. The formula for a blockbuster trade usually includes a star on a losing team, and Beal fits the bill.
Beal, though, can already imagine the drawbacks of requesting a trade. He sees the mess that Anthony Davis and the Pelicans are dealing with in New Orleans and doesn't want that for himself.
"I always feel like if I requested a trade, and I didn’t get traded, there’s no way in hell I’m gonna be able to go and play with my teammates who know I don’t want to be here. That’s mind-boggling to me," he said.
People change their minds, and Beal very well could. But he insists he has no thoughts of leaving the Wizards and says the speculation can effectively end.
“Until the team doesn’t want me anymore, I’m gonna be here,” he said. “I’m here. I’m a Wizard, day in and day out. They pay me and I have to show up and do my work. Until that changes, that’s who I’m loyal to.”
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