"He seems like he's moved into this Ray Allen 2007 stage where may be not as valuable" - Bill Simmons gives honest assessment of Washington Wizards' 3x All-Star's current level amid rumors

Bradley Beal spotted courtside at the 2022 NBA Finals, Game 4
Bradley Beal spotted courtside at the 2022 NBA Finals, Game 4

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards has seen his name come up in a lot of trade rumors over the past few weeks. Reports have suggested that Beal will decline his player option but will look to re-sign with Washington on a five-year max deal. The player option that he is expected to decline is worth $36.4 million.

Beal played just 40 games this season, due to a wrist injury which later required surgery. During that span, he averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists – dropping significantly in the scoring category.

With the deadline to opt out coming closer, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons highlighted his concerns for the Wizards:

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“Bradley Beal is gonna be 29 in two days. He has three All-Star games in his career. He’s made one All-NBA third team. Probably peaked two to three years ago. He dropped off a little last year. I don't think he's somebody who is necessarily gonna get better.”

There have been many stars in the game, historically, who have had solid runs for a long time – only to ultimately fizz out due to an injury. Although Beal might still be the Wizards’ top scorer and leader, his potential is now limited. Under such situations, it is in Washington's best interests to revaluate the situation before giving Beal a max contract.

Simmons compared Beal to a former superstar in the game:

“To me, he seems like he's moved into this Ray Allen 2007 stage, where maybe not as valuable as the general public would think.”

Injuries have derailed many careers in the league, but Beal isn’t that old. He could still be a very valuable piece for the Wizards or any other team, but the Wizards need to decide if he is still in their plans.

How good can the Washington Wizards be without Bradley Beal?

The Washington Wizards will have a long summer ahead of them, with their headliner Bradley Beal possibly becoming a free agent. Beal has been an effective player over the years, growing steadily into an efficient offensive creator. However, a wrist injury and a drop in shooting percentage has raised concerns over his long-term potential.

Simmons said the Wizards need to think hard before re-signing Beal:

“So, Beal’s been in the league 10 years, and my question is – if you’re giving him the super-max, where the h*** are you going? And the Wizards – with the contract history they have – is there any scenario where they go, ‘Wait a second, why did we have to spend all this money on Bradley Beal?”

The acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis has been good so far, with him finding his footing. He averaged 22.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 1.5 blocks per game in just 17 games. The franchise could choose to center the roster around the big man, provided they decide to part ways with Beal. They even have a couple of young role players – like Kyle Kuzma – who can be molded into efficient scorers for the future of the franchise.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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