Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and more

We must admit, the trade scuttle surrounding Bradley Beal should be more interesting now than it was all season long, when it was clear the Washington Wizards were not going to deal him, no matter the offer.

Now, however, with Beal having just one guaranteed year left on his contract (he has a player option for 2022-23) and Washington looking no closer to contention than any other middle-of-the-pack Eastern Conference club, the situation could be about to get spicy in DC.

Immediately after seeing his Wizards be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in five games by the Philadelphia 76ers, Beal was non-committal about his future with the franchise, telling collected media (via ESPN):

“I haven’t even … we’re not gonna think about that, or even talk about it, right now,” Beal said after collecting 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Washington’s 129-112 loss. “I haven’t thought about none of that, as of yet.” “Ultimately, I’m in control,” Beal said. “I think that’s my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S—, they’re starting now. “So it doesn’t change anything. I guess it’s going to increase a lot more this year with me going into the last year of my deal, but for me, I’m just relaxing, resting my body and we’ll evaluate all that when summer comes.”

He didn’t exactly demand a trade then and there, but regardless, the fact Beal didn’t give the Wizards a full vote of confidence as far as their future together is enough to be considered noteworthy, at least.

Plus, there was also a report this week from the Washington Post stating that Beal made it clear to Washington he wanted them to prove to him they could be a winning organization:

Beal, 27, becomes a free agent a year from now when his two-year, $72 million extension from 2019 runs out, but he could ask for a trade before then. Although the all-star guard expressed no interest in leaving the team throughout the season, according to multiple people with knowledge of Beal’s situation, he made it clear at the start of the year that he wanted the Wizards to prove they could be a winning organization.

So even despite the solid second half of 2020-21 for Washington, did they undoubtedly do enough to prove to their superstar 2-guard they’ll be competing for serious hardware any time soon?

That’s a question for Beal to answer, but from our perspective… not quite.

For the latest Bradley Beal trade rumors, click here.

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