Buckner: Wizards will likely try to 'wait it out' instead of trading Wall, Beal

Josh Luckenbaugh
November 20, 2018 - 9:28 am

The Wizards garnered national attention for all the wrong reasons Monday, with reports swirling of fights at practices and a "Woj bomb" that said the team is now open to trading any player on the roster, including John Wall and Bradley Beal

But according to Washington Post beat reporter Candace Buckner, Wizards fans shouldn't expect a fire sale anytime soon. 

"Clearly people are upset, so you would think maybe there is something to the Wizards finally being ready to put anybody on the table, including John or Brad," she told The Junkies Tuesday. "The problem is ... I still believe the history and ethos of this franchise is to just wait it out."

"Maybe that happens after the end of this season, we'll see where we end up. I'll be shocked if something happens before December 15 or before the trade deadline in February."

The Wizards have been struggling since the start of the season, and now sit at 5-11. The tension reportedly came to a head at practice last Thursday, according to Buckner's story Monday night:

"An on-court confrontation between John Wall and Jeff Green broke out, and so did another between Bradley Beal and Austin Rivers," she wrote. "In the aftermath of those respective spats, Wall directed an expletive at Brooks and Beal erupted about Grunfeld."

Wall was fined by the team for yelling "F--- you!" at Scott Brooks, and it apparently wasn't the first time a player has yelled at their coach this season. 

And in addition to his verbal altercation with long-time rival Rivers, how Beal called out general manager Ernie Grunfeld, which Buckner detailed in her report.

"According to people who heard Beal’s tirade, Beal yelled something to the effect of, 'I'm sick of this s---,'" she wrote. "Beal also gestured toward Grunfeld, who was sitting on the far baseline, and said he has been dealing with it for seven years and that, 'It starts at the top.'"

"To me, out of all what has happened, the most concerning thing is that it is leaking out," she told The Junkies. "It should be difficult for reporters to break into the sanctum of the locker room and get an idea of what's happening on the practice court or behind closed doors."

In the aftermath, many fans — like Beal, it appears — are pointing the finger at Grunfeld, who constructed this roster and signed off on the hefty contracts now making players like Wall and Otto Porter difficult to move. 

Buckner herself expressed confusion as to why owner Ted Leonsis has retained Grunfeld's services.

"I'm not exactly sure what Ernie is hitting," she said. "Clearly Ernie is doing something Ted likes to be here for this long. What exactly that is, and why he's always safe, that is a puzzle."

"Clearly, something has happened with ownership that (Ted)'s cool with it. I'm really not sure."

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