On a day where Bradley Beal said, "that's fair" when asked if he was leaning toward re-signing with the Wizards, the star shooting guard offered some insight regarding the key factors at play in his pending contract decision.
One of them was winning, as we've heard him talk about many a time. Beal wants to win and play on a team committed to that goal, but don't discount what an organization does off the court. Community involvement is important to the three-time All-Star and he's encouraged by what he's seen in D.C.
"What we do in the community as an organization is super important to me," Beal said Thursday. "It's amazing to see what Ward 8 is going to do around here, with all of what St. Elizabeth [hospital] is going to turn into."
In late February, D.C. health and city officials broke ground on a Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health at St. Elizabeth's East in Ward 8. It will be the first hospital built in Washington D.C. in over 20 years. It's a $375 million project expected to have 136 beds with full service, including a level-three trauma center.
After the project is completed in two years, residents will have better access to medical treatment in Ward 7 and 8. It's an area players like Beal, John Wall and Natasha Cloud have committed to assisting in the past.
"I really hope that we have a big part in influencing people in Ward 8 to be able to get these jobs, to be able to live in these nice townhomes that are getting built," Beal said. "In a lot of ways that plays a big factor into [the contract decision] too. What do we do as an organization, what stamp can we leave in the community? It can just be window dressing to be here in Ward 8 and not do anything about it and not help the people who live here."
Beal is in the final year of his contract with a player option for next season that if he declines, will allow him to re-sign with Washington for up to $246 million over five years. As the Wizards close out the 2021-22 campaign without him, Beal has plenty of time to weigh his options.