So remember that article we posted yesterday about the Nets’ reported interest in Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal? Never mind! Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein has spoken up, openly refuting claims that his client is available or looking to leave Washington.
"There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that's why he re-signed with the Wizards,” Bartelstein told Adam Zagoria of Forbes, pouring cold water on a report filed earlier this week by New York Daily News reporter Stefan Bondy. “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there."
Beal, who joined the Wizards after earning All-SEC recognition in his lone season at the University of Florida, has spent each of his eight NBA seasons playing in the nation’s capital. Before the NBA stopped play amid the coronavirus, Beal was averaging a career-high 30.5 points per game, second-best behind former MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets (34.4).
The rebuilding Wizards (they were 24-40 before the league’s hiatus) missed the playoffs last year and don’t figure to be competitive anytime soon. Despite Washington’s uninspired play and the lack of certainty surrounding star point guard John Wall (who hasn’t seen the floor in 17 months due to injury), Beal remains fully committed to the team that drafted him third overall in 2012.
“Both the Wizards organization and the city of Washington have been committed to supporting me and my family since the day I was drafted and I feel blessed to be able to show my commitment back to them,” the 26-year-old said after agreeing to a two-year, $72-million extension last fall. “I'm proud to continue leading this team both on and off the court and look forward to being part of building something special."
Perhaps the Wizards would reconsider if their struggles persist, but in the absence of a godfather offer, it appears Beal is staying put, at least for the remainder of his contract, which runs through 2022. Adding a third scorer to the fold remains a top priority for the Nets, who are led by perennial All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (neither of whom were healthy this year), but it looks like that player won’t be Beal.