By: Jacob Shindel, Assistant Editor
Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.
As much as it pains Washington Wizards fans to hear and admit, it is time to let Bradley Beal go to a team that deserves his services. The Wizards have failed Beal, and his career is being wasted in Washington. Beal is, once again, carrying the Wizards this year, setting a career high in points per game, rebounds per game and free throw percentage. Trade rumors surrounding Beal have picked up recently, but there are so many rumors that you can never believe something until it actually happens.
If the Wizards end up keeping Beal on the team, they should fire Scott Brooks immediately. Brooks has done nothing but stunt the growth of Beal, who, if he were surrounded by a better team, could be a top-five player in the league. Despite the trade speculation surrounding Beal, reports suggest that Beal wants to stay with the Wizards, and doesn’t want to give up on the team.
The return package that the Wizards could receive by trading away Beal would be a mix of young players, draft picks and possibly players on large expiring contracts to match the salaries of the trade. Teams that could create a sufficient offer are headlined by the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. The Heat could offer a package surrounding Tyler Herro, one of the biggest surprises from last year’s rookie class, and a mix of first and second-round picks. For the Nuggets, the offer would most likely include Michael Porter Jr., who missed his first official season due to injury, but then played very well en route to the Nuggets surprising run to the Western Conference Finals last season.
Beal has been nothing but loyal to the Wizards, as he has played out his entire nine-year career with the team, and has shown unwavering support through the small instances of success, and long years of frustration. Loyalty is a great thing, and Beal’s impact on the city is one of the most important relationships in the entire league.
The team cannot win games with Beal as their only decent player. They have Russell Westbrook too, but even when healthy, the duo does not seem to be working out. With a player as skilled as Beal, it is worth the money and time to put together a team that compliments their superstar. The Wizards, year in and year out, have failed to do this, and as a result, they have not had a winning team.
If the Wizards want to win more games anytime soon, it is in both their best interest and the best interest of Beal, to move on from one another. The current team is not constructed to make the playoffs, let alone win a championship. If the city and team truly want to see Beal succeed, they need to set him free.