Despite not signing a longer-term contract to secure his future with the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal says he has no plans of leaving.
“I hate change. If it happens, it happens,” Beal told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C.”
Beal was viewed as a potential trade candidate before he signed his extension last October.
That deal took him off the market for the 2019-2020 season, but speculation has circled that another losing season could eventually make Beal leave.
Beal told Spears that staying with one franchise and having his jersey retired appeals to him.
“Wanting to have my jersey retired in Washington one day played a factor in me re-signing,” Beal said. “Every night we walk into that arena, there’s five names up there. Those are some of the five greatest to ever touch a basketball. … For me, I look at Kobe, I look at D-Wade [Dwyane Wade], I look at Dirk [Nowitzki], U.D. [Udonis Haslem], how they can stay in one situation for a long time.”
Beal also pointed out that it would be more rewarding to win a title with the Wizards someday than wanting to join a contender, especially since that path wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a championship.
“I can sit here and say, ‘Yeah, I can go to Boston, I can go to Toronto, I can go to Miami’ … I can go everywhere everybody wants me to go,” Beal said. “But what would that look like? It wouldn’t necessarily be my team to where now I’m in a situation in Washington where I’m being built around.”
The Wizards are currently 22-39 and sit 4.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“I know I’m going to have to take these bumps and bruises,” Beal said about the team’s recent struggles. “I knew this last summer. I knew this, hell, the summer maybe even before that. You just got to grind it out, and stand true to who you are.”
The Wizards are on pace for more wins than most people projected them to get at the beginning of the season.
They will get John Wall back next season and the team may also have a little bit of cap space to add someone who can complement the star backcourt duo of Beal and Wall.