Bradley Beal’s time with the Washington Wizards has had its highs and lows and it may be coming to an end. The Wizards should trade him while they can.
Bradley Beal is currently in his 11th NBA season. He came into the NBA with a league-ready jump shot and the potential to become a great scorer. This scoring ability was realized — he’s averaged over 22 points per game for seven consecutive seasons and has topped 30 in two different seasons. At 29, he has a nearly foolproof offensive game that can react to any defense and still has a good chunk of his prime left to contribute to a contender.
So why would the Washington Wizards trade him? I would like to answer that question with a question of my own — Where are the Washington Wizards going? The team has posted a losing record in each of the last four seasons and are under .500 as we approach the halfway mark, or shall we say trade deadline, of the 2022-23 season.
When he and John Wall shared the backcourt in the nation’s capital the team was consistently at or above .500, winning three playoff series during their partnership. Brad was a key piece to playoff wins early in his career and showed that he can thrive in a winning situation. There’s no way with his experience and maturity that he isn’t burning to get back into such a situation. Who knows how hungry he’ll be once he’s back there?
So, okay, we understand why a team would want Beal, but to circle back to my question before, why would the Wizards trade him? John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat — those will be the years that people remember most from No. 3’s career in Washington, for most of those other players, they’re already a relic. It’s been six years since that team was on the court together, resulting in a No. 4 seed and a top-7 MVP finish for Mr. Wall. It was the peak of their powers, they were a 26-point, Game 7 performance by Kelly Olynyk away from reaching the conference finals. Who knows how history would remember this team had they won that game, who knows what the following offseason would look like?
Bradley Beal hasn’t been able to elevate the Washington Wizards
It was a sight to behold but they’re over. Not even the Wizards have been able to recapture that magic. Out of mana and with the HP bar lowering every day, this current rendition of the Wizards looks nice on paper, but it’s a No. 12 seed. It doesn’t matter about what this team could be, it matters about what it is. The only teams that trail them in the East are the Orlando Magic, the Charlotte Hornets and the Detroit Pistons, three rebuilding teams.
I’m not sure what Washington is holding on to and I don’t see what the three-year plan is to build with Beal. I don’t see a trade opening up that puts a star next to Beal and improves the team so much so that they leapfrog into playoff contention. It’s hard to believe that making a trade stymies the issues with a 12-seed that missed the playoffs last year.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, maybe it’s just over. Maybe I’m over-complicating things and the relationship is over. It might not be something you can quantify or ever explain, but maybe it’s just done. There’s no way the Wizards can consider their past five seasons a success, there’s no way Beal does either. This happens all the time in the NBA, two entities are just better off apart. It’s not even as if the relationship has soured, it’s not as if it’s negative, or toxic, it may just have run its course.
Success finds very few people who enter the NBA, and very few people who enter the NBA find success. Yes, success looks different to different people and maybe Beal and the Wizards satiated some form of what success means earlier in his career, but they haven’t come close to looking as electric as they did back then. Any suitors who are looking to add Bradley Beal would be making an enormous stride towards many different definitions of success and the Washington Wizards would be able to focus their energy towards a new path toward success in the post-Beal era.
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