Bradley Beal lights up when the rumor mill churns out his name.
The Washington Wizards guard addressed trade rumors linking him to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, telling ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan he considers interest in his services as a “sign of respect.”
Beal is the NBA’s second-leading scorer, averaging 30.5 points per game in 2019-20, and Brooklyn reportedly is keen on adding him to a roster that already includes superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Beal doesn’t hide the fact the Nets’ interest and presumed approval of Durant and Irving, makes him proud.
“It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” Beal said. “It’s interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I’ve been doing good things and guys want to play with me.
However, Beal wants to play with injured teammate John Wall again and doesn’t sound ready to push for a trade.
“That’s an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie (Irving) and KD (Durant) want you, s—, that’s amazing. At the same time, you don’t know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I’ve put down roots in D.C. I’ve dedicated myself to this town, this community. I love it here, and it would feel great to know I could grind out winning here instead of jumping to another team.
“But I’d be naive to say that I don’t think about it when these stories come up.”
The Wizards are 24-40 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings. How their season finishes largely will depend on how the NBA decides to return to action, and Beal’s future also might hinge on when teams are allowed begin making roster moves again.
When that day comes, Beal likely still will be in Washington fully aware at least one team would love to help him change his scenery if the Wizards want.