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“He is not going to be on the trade market here in the near future, and he’s not expressed really at all yet that he’s ready to move on,” Wojnarowski told Maria Taylor on ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Friday (1:24 mark). “He has loved that city, that organization, and he has fought through a lot there, he’s fighting through a lot right now.”
Taylor then asked what the market would be like for Beal, and Wojnarowski replied, “Massive.” He also noted that Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, revealed that the guard’s focus is turning the franchise’s 3-12 season around. Woj suggested that any conversations about a possible move could be in the offseason rather than before the March 25 trade deadline.
Beal entered Friday averaging a career- and league-high 34.7 points per game. However, the Wizards have a league-worst record thanks in part to their second-worst defensive rating entering Friday, per Basketball Reference. Washington has lost four straight games.
A partnership with Russell Westbrook, whom the team landed from the Houston Rockets in exchange for John Wall and a protected 2023 first-round draft pick, has not worked out thus far. Granted, the 2020-21 season isn’t even a quarter of the way through, but the situation looks dire.
Yet Beal has said more than once that he wants to stay in D.C.
“That would mean the world, man,” he told the On the Road with Buck & Phil podcast in October (h/t Frank Urbina of HoopsHype). “I’m a loyal guy. I want to be here. I’m here. I’ve signed my extension. And that will mean the world to me. That honestly would you know, being able to finish your career in one place? You know, you don’t see that in today’s game.”
The shooting guard kept the same motto after Washington lost to the New Orleans Pelicans last Wednesday:
The 27-year-old is signed with Washington through the 2021-22 season. He holds a $37.3 million player option for 2022-23 but can decline it to become a free agent.