The Miami Heat have been linked to Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal for years, and rumored trade reports have reached an apex considering the shooting guard is entering the final year of his contract.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, the 28-year-old was confronted about his looming decision. “You could sign a five-year, $242 million deal if you stay with the Wizards,” Rooks states. “You go somewhere else, four-year $179 mill[ion], obviously big numbers but a difference. And that means you’re in a very rare position where you get to control what you do and where you go.”
Beal doesn’t appear too stressed by the question. “These are great problems, so you can’t really make a wrong decision,” the three-time All-Star says. “I’m blessed to be here.” While he admits, “There is some anxiety, and time is counting down… it’s fun to be in the position.”
Rooks addresses the outside noise concerning Beal’s decision, telling him that most people are assessing his choice as “Am I going to pick winning? Or am I going to pick money?” If Beal re-signs with the Wizards, he’ll own the biggest contract in NBA history, per Sportsnaut.com.
Beal responds, “It’s a blessing and a curse. because financially yes, it’s a lot of money,” noting how most people would not turn down an extra $63 million.
“But I know what my decision will be based off of, and that’s gonna be where I feel like I can win. And that’s going to be my decision. If I feel like I can win in D.C., that’s what I’m gonna do, and I want people to respect that. You may or you may not, but I’m gonna work my a** off, and I’m gonna compete, and I wanna make this team better. If it’s elsewhere, it’s going to be the exact same commitment.”
The Wizards star appeared in just 40 games last season after undergoing surgery on his wrist in February. Before the season-ending injury, he averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game.
The 6-foot-4 guard makes it clear that his relationship with the Wizards remains strong, and they are in constant discussions. “It’s always about the improvement of the team,” Beal says. “That’s our main concern. The commitment is there from everyone. Obviously, we came way short of where we wanted to be last year.
“Winning is hard. Obviously, you want to be in a position to be competing for a championship, but understanding how hard it is to win, puts a lot of things in perspective in terms of your future, where you wanna go, and who you wanna do it with.”
As for his biggest fear, “If I didn’t give myself a chance to win,” Beal says. While “regret” is too strong is of a word, “You don’t wanna look 20 years down the line and think, ‘Damn, I wish.’”
Washington Wizards trade SG Bradley Beal to Miami Heat for SG Tyler Herro, G/F Duncan Robinson, SF Caleb Martin (via sign-and-trade), PG Gabe Vincent and 2022 first-round pick (No. 27 overall) pic.twitter.com/dl9qpRZ5eQ
Rooks asks Beal, who’s spent his entire career with the Wizards, after getting selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, if years of losing has impacted him personally. She notes that during an appearance on Warriors star Draymond Green’s podcast, he and Beal discussed how “sometimes it feels like the money doesn’t matter if you’re losing, because, the words you used was, ‘you’re miserable.’”
“It has some impact, I’ll be honest,” Beal responds. “If my wife was here, she would be a little more honest cuz sometimes that comes home.. but that’s what I try not to do. But losing can do that. Yea, make a lot of money, and we want to make sure our financial future is secure but you don’t wanna get your ass kicked every night, ya know? You get tired of it.”
Perhaps, Beal would experience less of that misery by joining the Heat, a team that entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and came within one game of punching their ticket to the NBA Finals. Shams Charania reported in March:
The Heat are seen as a legitimate suitor for Beal should he elect to seek a new home, multiple sources said. The Heat have a veteran, championship-ready core in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker, as well as talented young players in Tyler Herro, Max Strus and Caleb Martin. Miami would need to complete a sign-and-trade to acquire Beal. Overall, teams will continue to keep an eye on the Heat as a legitimate threat to add talent in the years to come.