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#pounditWednesday, September 22, 2021

Wizards GM sends clear message about Bradley Beal’s availability

Bradley Beal

Russell Westbrook’s exit from the Washington Wizards raised a number of questions regarding whether Bradley Beal might force his way out of town. Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard sent a clear signal that wouldn’t be happening after the team made its draft choice Thursday.

The Wizards selected Gonzaga’s Corey Kisper No. 15 overall. The 22-year-old didn’t look like a long-term developmental pick, as he’s an established shooter who can contribute immediately. Sheppard seemed to make a point of that, using his press conference to say he’d heard from Beal, who praised the move to add more shooting to the team.

The message from Sheppard certainly appears to be that Beal isn’t going anywhere. That also seems to be Beal’s stance at the moment. The guard has long been the subject of trade rumors, including some recent talk that he might request a trade. For now, it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

The 28-year-old Beal averaged 31.3 points per game last season, just missing out on the league’s scoring title. He has one year remaining on his contract, and can opt out following the 2021-22 season.

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