Bradley Beal’s latest decision may lead to future with Knicks

RJ Barrett, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Both the New York Knicks and Bradley Beal have been officially eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. For the Knicks, whose season came to an end at the hands of a dirty lollipop, this means their offseason has officially arrived.

The Knicks have hoped to add star talents during the offseason for the past several years. While Julius Randle’s addition to the squad came as a pleasant surprise, New York still hasn’t accomplished the feat of adding a player whose elite status is already established. Undoubtedly, the franchise will continue to look for ways in which they can do this as they build towards contention in the coming months.

One player who has been highlighted in this search is Beal, who is also now sitting at home. Beal can wait there until the next Wizards training camp, or he and can become the biggest story of the summer. Beal’s standing as a loyal player to the Washington Wizards has been questioned over the last couple of years, but he has always quickly killed such speculation.

The Knicks will monitor Bradley Beal this offseason

The All-Star guard on many occasions has made it known that he wishes to see his contract through in D.C. and possibly even re-sign there in the future.

However, with the Wizards’ latest failure to have success beyond a first-round playoff exit, Beal’s tone could be starting to change. Following his team’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, Beal was asked again about his place with the Wizards long-term. Beal declined to answer the question.

This can certainly just be evidence of fatigue for the shooting guard, as I’ve mentioned this is certainly not the first time he’s heard this question asked. Beal very likely could be sick of hearing it and just didn’t want to answer.

This also plays hand in hand with the likelihood that Beal simply didn’t wish to focus on something so distant, as he has just come to another disappointing conclusion to the season. Often players aren’t keen on answering similar questions directly after an end to their season, especially in the playoffs.

But, there definitely should be reason for fans and media to pause and consider that Beal’s decision to decline the question has significance. As acknowledged, this is the first time Beal hasn’t jumped at the opportunity to say he wants to stay put, giving a reason for belief that Beal is beginning to second guess his current situation in Washington.

His pairing with fellow All-Star guard Russell Westbrook was a major bummer, as they struggled mightily for most of the regular season. The duo just barely made the playoffs by pulling off an admittedly impressive late-season push, which culminated with them defeating the Indiana Pacers in the play-in tournament and being granted the Eastern Conference’s 8th seed. However, the Wizards by doing so did nothing more than hit their ceiling.

In a conference dominated by a monster big three in Brooklyn, a two-time MVP in Milwaukee, and several other teams at or on the rise towards contender status, the Wizards present and future are just as it has been for the last several years, questionable at best.

If Beal finally decides it is time to end his stint with Washington, he will be the latest player to request a trade and potentially be moved somewhere he can play for something more. Such a move on Beal’s part can perfectly open the door for the Knicks to swing a trade and nab the 3-time All-Star.

In this latest playoff appearance, Bradley Beal averaged 30 points per game on 45% shooting from the field, but just 22% from three on 6 attempts. He also averaged 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Beal is coming off a regular season in which he finished second in PPG to Stephen Curry, chipping in 31.3 a game.

He was last season’s scoring champion with 30.5 PPG. This season he had a 48% FG and 35% 3-point FG on 6 attempts along with 4.7 RPG and 4 APG.

Beal’s decreased efficiency against Philly shouldn’t scare Knicks fans. The Sixers not only have a great defense, but Beal is often one of the few reliable scoring options on the Wizards roster. Beal would be a fantastic addition to a New York squad who has some good scoring pieces but could definitely use the major upgrade that Beal would provide.

Beal would also be a great fit alongside his fellow Knicks teammates. Beal’s ability to play-make and score would take a ton of pressure off of Randle. Beal would also not hinder RJ Barrett’s ascension, as both players are capable of playing at either wing position and both on and off-ball. Beal is an above-average defender when he shows effort on that end, something that will all but be guaranteed playing under Tom Thibodeau.

Finally, Beal’s status as a player in his prime with 5 years of playoff experience can do wonders for a team who will look to take the next step on that stage come next season.

Here’s to praying Beal comes to grips with his time in Washington. For many year’s the Wizards’ franchise has failed to build a consistent winner around Beal. The beginning of the end seemed to be signaled with the shipment of John Wall to Houston last summer.

Perhaps the Wizards will have no choice but to finally commit to a rebuild this offseason with a Beal trade request. If and when that time comes, teams will be lining up for his services. And you better believe the New York will be ready to pick up the phone.

Next. Greatest Coaches in Knicks history. dark