Bradley Beal is one of the best players in the National Basketball Association who not that many people talk about.
He is a 6-foot-4 guard who can seemingly do it all: score from all three levels, create opportunities for his teammates, get to the free-throw line and convert there, and play solid defense.
Beal has career averages of 22.1 points and 4.2 assists per game, and he put up over 30 points a game in the past two campaigns.
At age 28, he is seemingly in the middle of his prime, but he has to be aware that his biological basketball clock is slowly but surely starting to tick louder.
He needs to find himself a new team, because the only team he has ever played for, the Washington Wizards, has failed to get him help.
Beal Is A Bona Fide Star
Even though he was the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Beal’s career got off to a quiet start.
He didn’t average at least 20 points a game until his fifth season, and he shot less than 43.0 percent from the field in each of his first three years.
Early on, it looked like Washington may have had the beginnings of a strong team, as Beal was paired up in the backcourt with John Wall, who was then a perennial All-Star and one of the league’s better point guards.
It seemed like the 2017 playoffs were Beal’s true coming-out party as a star who everyone would regard highly.
That postseason, he averaged 24.8 points per game, and he played especially well in the second round versus the Boston Celtics.
In that series, he scored 33 points on 15-of-26 shooting in a clutch 92-91 win to force a Game 7 in which he had 38 points.
The following regular season, he also poured in 51 points versus Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bradley Beal’s 51 point against the Trail Blazers (12/5/2017). Beal went absolutely crazy, shooting 21/37 and 5/12 from 3. During this game the only other players to score over 10 were Kelly Oubre (14) and Mike Scott (10). Wizards ended up winning this game 106-92. pic.twitter.com/xcggBcvFjA
— Bradley Beal Fanpage (@BradleysBeal) April 3, 2021
Last season, Beal put up 31.3 points per game, finishing second in the league in scoring and earning himself his third trip to the All-Star game and his first All-NBA selection.
Washington Couldn’t Build A Winner Around Beal
After a few years of being a playoff team, the Wizards regressed when Wall suffered a torn Achilles in the 2018-19 season.
Wall missed all the next season, and the Wizards, who won just 32 games in 2019, sagged to a 25-57 record.
When they traded Wall to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook, it looked like perhaps they were on the rise again.
But they couldn’t do any better than win the play-in tournament and got rolled by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
They’re over the salary cap, and the contract of Kristaps Porziņģis could become a problem if he doesn’t stay healthy and play up to his potential.
Beal can become a free agent next summer, and at this point of his career, he deserves to play for a contender.
BRADLEY BEAL. 😤
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 29, 2021
Would Washington be willing to trade him before that in order to get something in return for him, or will they play it out in an attempt to keep him?