The Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal are approaching a crossroads this summer. The two sides have to decide whether to get re-married — via a five-year, $246 million max contract — or get divorced.
The 28-year-old guard on Monday night may have given the team his ultimatums on how to keep him in DC and build a championship-level team. As a guest on NBC Sports Washington’s post-game show following the Wizards‘ 115-97 loss to the Rockets, Beal said, first and foremost, the team needs one more star to be a contender.
“I’ll be damned if anybody says they can win a championship by themselves or win any game by themselves as an All-Star,” said Bealwho is out for the remainder of the season due to wrist surgery. “That will never happen, and I don’t think it’s ever happened in the history of the league. So, I think having another guy, 100% that is a must-have, it’s a must-need.”
Beal can opt out of the last year of his contract this summer. If the Wizards offer him a max contract and he declines, the max deal he could sign with another team would be one fewer year and much less guaranteed money. Beal said earlier this month that he is leaning towards re-signing with the Wizards.
When it came to specifics for the roster, Beal said he believes the team needs bigger guards, better 3-point shooters and capable wing defenders. So, basically, the Wizards (30-41) need to improve at everything.
“We need bigger guards,” Beal said. “We need more guys that can get in the paint for us, more ball-handlers, more guys that can really create and get two feet in the paint, but also who can knock down 3s.”
“We need bigger guards. We need more guys who can get in the paint for us.”
With Beal injured and Spencer Dinwiddie traded to the Mavericks, the Wizards‘ guards include Raul Neto (6-foot-2), Ish Smith (6-0), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6-5) and Tomas Satoransky (6-7). None of the players are anywhere close to All-Star -level, with Caldwell-Pope as the only one with consistent experience as a starter.
“Finding shooters, we definitely need shooting,” Beal said. “Our shooting has been horrendous all year. I think that’s an area that we definitely need to key in on.”
Beal didn’t mention, as he regularly did earlier in the season, that his shooting from behind the arc isn’t where it once was. A 40% 3-point shooter in his younger years with the Wizards, Beal this season shot just 30% from long range — by far the worst rate of his career.