The NBA Trade Deadline is less than 24 hours away, and as Wizards fans debate whether the team should trade for Tristan Thompson or ship Davis Bertans out of town, it's easy to forget how different this time of year could be had Bradley Beal not signed an extension before the season began.
Beal was in line to be the next superstar to change teams either through free agency or by requesting a trade. Instead, he stayed loyal to the franchise that drafted him and agreed to a two-year, $72 million extension.
The extension made Beal ineligible to get traded until the start of the next league year, which according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, prevented an unprecedented bidding war for the two-time All-Star.
"There would have been a bidding war unlike anything we've seen in the league for Beal," Wojnarowski said on ESPN. "Maybe that still comes again in the future, but he believes in that commitment he made to DC, he wants to make it work with the Wizards."
Lowe mentioned the Nuggets as a team that would have gone, "all in" for Beal before his extension with Washington.
“Honestly, I thought that was kind of the easy way out,” Beal told Yahoo recently. “It’ll feel more meaningful and powerful knowing that I grinded it out doing it in D.C. It’s pretty much my team, I’m the franchise here, so it was kind of destined for me to kind of mold it from here.”
Just because Beal signed an extension this offseason doesn't mean he'll be a Wizard for life. Tommy Sheppard and his staff still have to build a formidable core around Beal and John Wall. Once we hit June 30, Beal will be eligible for trade and by the looks of it, will have plenty of teams reaching out to acquire him.
In the meantime, Beal is hoping to push his team to the playoffs, which could be the reason the Wizards are reportedly trying to buy at the trade deadline. Wall isn't expected to return until next season, and with a 17-32 record, making the playoffs would be a serious accomplishment for this group. Even in the Eastern Conference.
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