Bradley Beal isn’t bothered by the recent trade rumors about him.
The Brooklyn Nets reportedly had “internal discussions” about securing the Washington Wizards guard last week, which would pair him up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season.
While talks like that could negatively impact players, Beal doesn’t see it that way.
"It's not the first time I've heard this kind of talk," Beal said Friday, via ESPN. "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.
"That's an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and [Kevin Durant] want you, s--t, 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."
Beal was averaging a career-high 30.5 points and 6.1 assists for the Wizards this season before it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 26-year-old has spent all of his eight-year career in the league in Washington, and signed a two-year, $72 million extension in October that will keep him there through the 2022-23 season.
Though he’s having the best season of the year, the Wizards boast just a 24-40 record and are outside of the traditional playoff picture. Depending on how the league resumes play during the coronavirus pandemic, if it does at all, it may not be possible for them to make it in.
“I just have to tell myself, ‘Don't stress over what you can't control,’” Beal said, via ESPN. “I was having a good run, and then it came to a halt. You find yourself thinking, ‘Dang, how am I going to pick up where I left off?’”
Beal wants to play with John Wall again
Teaming up with Durant and Irving would be an appealing move for a lot of players in the league — and is a similar one that other league stars have made in recent years.
Beal, though, isn’t quite ready to leave Washington.
He wants to team up with John Wall again.
“My biggest thing right now is that I want to play with John [Wall] again,” Beal said, via ESPN. “I want to see him get back to that level where I know he can be, especially since my game has grown so much [while he's been out]. What can we accomplish together? I'm so happy he's healthy, working his tail off.”
The 29-year-old is nearly back to full strength, however, and resumed some work with the team before the league suspended play.
“He looked great,” Beal said, via ESPN. “I was super encouraged. We went from seeing John motoring around every day on a wheeler to watching him dunk the ball. I saw that just before we stopped playing, and I was thinking, ‘Wow! He's back. We've missed that.’ The few practices he participated in with us changed the whole outlook of our team.”
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