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Bradley Beal on Wizards off-season, GM search: Leonsis serious about making changes

Bradley Beal on Wizards off-season, GM search: Leonsis serious about making changes

Bradley Beal cannot predict the future.

That means for his own career path and the next step for the general manager-less Washington Wizards. Yet the two-time All-Star has more insight than most trying to decipher the organization’s next step. Unlike outsiders scrutinizing crumbs of information, Beal speaks with the man running the show.

While the possible All-NBA selection spent a portion of his post-regular season downtime “relaxing,” Beal remains connected with Wizards ownership.

“Staying in the loop with Ted (Leonsis) as much as possible,” Beal told NBC Sports Washington Friday following his latest mentoring event with athletes from the Ron Brown College Prep High School.

Beal processed those conversations with Leonsis and determined the following.

“He’s definitely on thin ice with everybody,” Beal said of Leonsis. “He wants change and he wants it better.”

Leonsis began the process of evaluating the organization after firing longtime team president Ernie Grunfeld one month ago. Consultants were hired. Interviews with potential GM candidates including Tommy Sheppard, Danny Ferry and Troy Weaver began this week.

“For [Ted] to go through the process of hiring the search team, I think that in it of itself speaks to the seriousness behind it,” Beal said. “At the end of the day, it’s his team. He’s going to run the team as he says. All we can do is follow. I can just sense he wants a better environment.”

While the speculation focuses on the potential contenders, including Denver president Tim Connelly and perhaps a mystery entry or two, one major unknown is Leonsis’ mindset following the trying 32-50 season. Has reflection led him to seek massive changes in philosophy or subtle tweaks beyond the ouster of Grunfeld after 16 seasons?

The new GM hire will speak volumes. For now, the quiet is the “scary part” for Beal.

“In this business, anything is possible, anything can happen. We can get a new guy in here who has a totally different agenda then we may have (assumed) going forward,” Beal said. “You never know.. Just have to play it is you go and accept the fact that it’s a business, and be prepared for any situation.”

For Beal, 25, that could mean two distinct paths. Remain the driving force on-court of the only NBA organization he’s known or become the centerpiece of a trade should a new voice push for draft picks and younger assets.

He set career-highs in scoring (25.6), rebounding (5.0) and assists (5.5) while playing in all 82 regular season games for a second consecutive and providing true leadership on and off the court. Contending teams would pay a premium his talents. The Wizards might determine they cannot let Beal go regardless of almost any reasonable haul.

Beal possibly earning a supermax contract by virtue of selection to one of the three All-NBA teams would add major financial wrinkle for an organization already paying the injured John Wall $170 million over the next four seasons.

Though Beal delivered a strong campaign, the team floundered throughout and missed the postseason for only the second time in six years.

“I think we let a year go by. We kind of wasted a year,” said Beal, who is one of a small handful of players under contract for the 2019-20 season.

“At the same time, the bright side is we have an opportunity to build up a team now,” Beal continued. “It’s scary to think we have nine free agents and everything like that, but we still have a great opportunity to be able to do something big this summer, make some moves and get some guys in here and try to turn this thing around.”

Beal’s sustained efforts with the students at Ron Brown led to him being named a finalist for the season-long NBA Cares Community Assist Award.

The latest direct opportunity with members of the boy’s basketball and football team took occurred Friday. Beal showed his ball skills at a bowling alley next to Capital One Arena after leading a panel discussion focused on academics held at the team’s practice facility in Ward 8.

Though he primarily avoided basketball talk even when prompted – “I want to stick to the academics and consistency part. Hoops is the easy part.” – Beal emphasized the point of teamwork. In doing so, he circled back to the Wizards’ woes.

“Sacrifice. You can’t go out there shooting the ball every time. You can’t go out there pouting about not getting the ball. You can’t complain about not getting the ball,” Beal said. “There’s only one basketball and five of y’all. The object of the game is to stop them from scoring and we do whatever it takes to score.

“Stop first, then score. That was our problem. We could score 100 points, but we couldn’t stop anybody.”

Defense is yet another angle the next general manager must consider. Beal awaits word on the next hire while remaining prepared for any situation.

Fans can vote for the NBA community assist award via Twitter and other platforms through Sunday.

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Troubling video of ex-NBA star Delonte West leads to suspension of Prince George's police officer

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Troubling video of ex-NBA star Delonte West leads to suspension of Prince George's police officer

A Prince George's police officer was suspended after a troubling video emerged of his interaction with former NBA player and Eleanor Roosevelt alum Delonte West handcuffed after an alleged altercation.

The disturbing video showed West handcuffed on a sidewalk after getting involved in a physical conflict with a civilian. The off-screen officer was asking West questions on what happened to the events leading to him roughed up on the side of the road. West alleges that he was approached by a man with a gun. 

Prince George's police department announced that the video was filmed by a member of their department, leading to the officer's suspension. 

"Today at 12:15 pm, we learned the video that is currently on social media depicting the male in handcuffs was recorded by a Prince George’s County Police officer. The circumstances surrounding the recording and release of that video are now the subject of an internal investigation. That officer is now suspended pending the outcome of this investigation," the department said in a release.

Another disturbing video from a bystander shows the fight between the presumed West and another unidentified man. One man was standing over the other and continuously stomping on what appears to be West.

Meanwhile, West's former teammates and coaches took to social media to express their concerns.

West played eight years in the NBA across four franchises. He played his college ball at Saint Joseph's where he was teammates with Jameer Nelson and was coached by Phil Martelli. 

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Wizards vs. Heat: TV channel, Time, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards vs. Heat: TV channel, Time, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak with a nice win over the Pistons on Martin Luther King Day. 

They won't be able to celebrate for long though as they hit the road to play an extremely good Miami Heat team just a couple of weeks after the Wizards beat them without Bradley Beal. 

Can Washington shock everyone once again and continue to play their best against great teams? Here's what you need to know to watch and find out. 

WIZARDS vs. HEAT HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami, Game 43

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami FL

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Heat will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Heat on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. HEAT TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Wizards Outsiders

7:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live 

7:30 PM: Wizards vs. Heat

10:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live 

10:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live 

11:00 PM: Wizards Talk 

WIZARDS vs. HEAT INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Rui Hachimura (OUT, groin), Garrison Mathews (OUT, ankle), Moe Wagner (OUT, ankle),  John Wall (OUT, Achilles)

Heat: Jimmy Butler (Day-to-day, hip), Justise Winslow (OUT, back)

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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