No one has reported that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving want to team up with Bradley Beal, just that the Nets have had “internal discussions” about acquiring the Wizards guard. But on Friday, Beal went beyond Stefan Bondy’s original reporting a week ago.
“It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” Beal told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “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.
Does Beal know something that we don’t?
Beal, who was averaging 30.5 points a game before the NBA shutdown added a caveat, that he’s happy in the nation’s capital and wants to team with John Wall who will be returning next season.
“My biggest thing right now is that I want to play with John [Wall] again,’’ Beal said to 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...
“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.”
As we and others have reported, the possibility of adding Beal as a “third star” hasn’t been to convince Ted Leonsis, one of the NBA’s wealthiest owner, to pay with Beal. Beal’s own agent didn’t give the rumor any oxygen when asked earlier this week.
Beal’s own agent, presumably with Beal’s approval, told Adam Zagoria, “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards,” agent Mark Bartelstein told Zagoria Friday by phone.
“Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.”
- Wizards star Bradley Beal says it’s ‘amazing’ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant want him in Brooklyn - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- A reminder amid the rumors: The Wizards still don’t want to trade Bradley Beal - Fred Katz - The Athletic