Loyal Wizard Bradley Beal to start tampering, recruiting

Ben Krimmel
February 16, 2019 - 2:28 pm
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Right now, Bradley Beal is the main man for the Washington Wizards franchise. And fortunately for them, Beal is committed to staying.

"If I can retire in this jersey, I will. I’m all about loyalty,” Beal said earlier this week. 

This pledge of loyalty means there will be some semblance stability for a franchise suddenly beset by turbulence. After losing John Wall for an extended period to a raptured Achilles tendon, the Wizards jettisoned Otto Porter and Markieff Morris before the trade deadline, a signal that oft-criticized GM Ernie Grunfeld and owner Ted Leonsis may be ready to hit the reset button on the roster. 

After the deadline, Grunfeld committed to keeping Beal long term.

“We have no intention of trading Bradley,” Grunfeld told The Athletic. “We really like his development and the way his game has improved over these years: his character, his work ethic. And we wanna have him as part of our group moving forward for a long time.”

And Beal has communicated his commitment to Grunfeld, as well. 

"This has been home for me for seven years. He knows that. Ted knows me. Everybody knows me,” Beal told The Athletic's Fred Katz. “I’m gonna be committed until I’m not, until I’m moved. That’s just my mindset."

READ: Wall defiant in face of long injury absence

With Wall lost for the next 12 months at least, the next item on the Beal's agenda: Tampering and recruiting.

“I have to. I have to,” Beal told The Athletic. “I’ve never been in this position before.”

“I hate super teams,” Beal said. “Like everybody, just get your own team and just try to win with what you’ve got. But it’s like you need five All-Stars to win, especially to beat Golden State at this point."

Beal is unsure who he will be targeting, but after dumping Porter's gargantuan contract the Wizards have some financial flexibility. 

“We moved some pieces during the (trade) deadline that gave us a little bit more freedom in the offseason to do some things. So, I’m gonna try my best,” Beal said.

While Beal has a sense of confidence after speaking with management, the fate of the franchise remains in the hands of Leonsis and Grunfeld. 

"Granted, what we’re gonna do in the offseason and after this, that’s up to Ernie and Ted to figure out," Beal said. "But I know that my job is just to continue to lead, recruit if I can and try to make it work. And we know that John won’t be here, so it’s pretty much in my hands to lead the team.”

While believing he can win with anybody, Beal admits there is still a long way to go.

“But it’s not gonna be easy. It’d be naive to say that. I’d be naive to say it’s been a great year," he said. "Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

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