(via NBA.com)

Publicly, Bradley Beal has preached nothing but loyalty to the lowly Washington Wizards. Amid John Wall’s career-altering injury and a lack of any real depth, the franchise seems far off from Championship contention.

Routine 50-point performances by Beal usually resulted in a loss and it seems they don’t have any real direction for the future.

Despite Bradley’s contract, that is supposed to keep him in town through 2023, it’s inevitable that he leaves soon — at least, according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, who believes the Wizards will trade him as a way to start fresh.

“Holding on to Beal over the offseason could amount to delaying the inevitable, in which case: Why wait? He would fetch a premium at the trade deadline, but his value will never be higher than it is now with two full years (and a player option) left on his deal. This summer’s crummy free-agent market only adds to Washington’s leverage now, as opposed to later. With so little available cap space and so few available stars, teams will be hard-pressed to make substantial upgrades.”

Obviously, the Wizards need to make moves if they want to climb out of the gutter. But Beal is, by far, their biggest trade asset.

With him, they can get a haul that could set them up for years or maybe a star who would be a better fit with John Wall. Either way, Beal is Washington’s best bet at a clean slate.

He’s 26-years-old and one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. This season in Washington he reached career-high numbers — 30.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.2 rebounds on 35% shooting from downtown.

In the next few months, keep an eye out for the Wizards and their next play. How they go about this summer could impact their success for years to come.

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