As much as the Wizards and Bradley Beal publicly say that the All-Star shooting guard isn't looking to be traded, or isn't available for a trade, it sure doesn't seem that way based on his visible disappointment and what he says postgame as Washington continues to suffer embarrassing losses left and right.
The latest loss came at the hands of a young Charlotte Hornets team that blew out the Wizards by 22 points on Sunday. Beal put up a game-high 31 points, while the next highest-scoring player for Washington was Robin Lopez with 14 points. Russell Westbrook struggled again on offense and finished the game with just 12 points on only nine shot attempts. After the game, Beal was brutally honest about the performance of the team following yet another Wizards loss.
"We've gotta have some pride, man, some dog," Beal said. "We've got no dog. We just kind of let teams just walk all over us and that s--- is frustrating. "It's tough because we're all adults. I can't do it for guys. I can only do it for myself. All we can do is encourage the next man to be ready to go and accept the challenge. I can't do that for someone else. I can't do your guys' job and you can't do my job. You know what I'm saying?"
Beal currently leads the league in scoring (33.2 points), but the Wizards rank second-to-last in the Eastern Conference, with no real hope of making it to the playoffs. Nothing seems to be going right for Washington this season, which started with trading John Wall for Westbrook, the latter of which looks like a complete shell of his former self. Wall, on the other hand, is starting to get back on track after being away from the game for two years.
The Wizards haven't been good for several seasons now, so it's only natural for those around the league to think that Beal would be the next star player to jump ship for greener pastures and a chance at actually winning. However, Beal signed a contract extension before the start of last season, and has said on several occasions that he doesn't plan on asking for a trade. But at some point you have to wonder if Beal will look at all of this losing and realize he's wasting his prime on a team that is going nowhere in the immediate future.
There's several contending teams across the league who would pay the price to secure Beal's services, which would give the Wizards assets to finally enter a full-blown rebuild and start from the ground up. But unless Beal asks for a trade, or the Wizards are offered a deal they just can't refuse, it doesn't look like he'll be available just yet.
In the meantime, we'll continue to hear about Beal being disgruntled with how the team is performing, while the Wizards try to assure everyone else that he's not going anywhere.