Wizards' Bradley Beal used his time at All-Star Weekend to recruit players to join him in D.C.
Beal says he spoke to a lot of guys, but he won't be naming any names: 'You're not gonna have me out here for tampering'
Bradley Beal was in Charlotte this past weekend for his second All-Star Game appearance in a row, but he wasn't there just to take in the sights and sounds. No, the sharpshooting guard was trying to make moves.
Speaking to reporters after the game, during which he scored 11 points and helped key Team LeBron's second-half comeback, Beal said he spent the weekend trying to recruit players to join him on the Washington Wizards. Fear of tampering fines persuaded him to keep mum on who he was talking to, but Beal said he was hopeful some things can happen in July. Via The Athletic:
"It was really crazy," Beal said. "A lot of guys were coming to talk to me and asking me how I feel. The recruiting process is really going all right. It's going all right. I'm trying. This is new for me. So, I'm definitely getting some ears and seeing where guys' minds are at."
"Guys were, 'So, what y'all doing in D.C.? How is D.C.?' Or I'm asking, 'What's your situation? What you thinking about? How you feeling? Any changes need to be made?'" he said.
"I can't name no names. I'm not gonna name no names. I ain't gonna name no names. You're not gonna have me out here for tampering. I ain't gonna throw no names out. I'm keeping them in my piggy bank, my back pocket right here," Beal said. "But in July, hopefully we can do something."
That players spend All-Star Weekend talking to each other about the situations on their teams, and even potentially making plans to play together at some point is no surprise. However, given the Wizards' current situation, it would be surprising if Beal was actually able to recruit any of his fellow All-Stars to come to the nation's capital.
For one, the Wizards, back in action on Friday against the Hornets (7 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), are unfortunately stuck in the middle ground between competing and tanking. They have Beal, who has become one of the best guards in the Eastern Conference, but they also just traded away Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr., two of their best young players. Plus, John Wall recently underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon, and might miss all of next season.
On top of that, unless they decide not to bring back a whole host of players, including the recently acquired Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and Trevor Ariza, they aren't going to have the cap space to sign an All-Star free agent. Especially considering the guys at All-Star who could be available -- Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and D'Angelo Russell -- are all going to want pretty significant contracts.
There's always the possibility that Beal was talking to players who were just at All-Star Weekend, but weren't playing in the game. At the same time, he probably wouldn't have bragged about his conversations with other players unless they were other stars.
In any case, it's going to be fascinating to see what happens with the Wizards moving forward, both through the rest of this season, and into the summer.
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