Bradley Beal doesn't expect trade rumors to stop after re-signing with Wizards

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Beal doesn't expect trade rumors to stop after new contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Bradley Beal's name popping up in NBA trade rumors became standard practice in the three years leading up to his free agency in 2022.

Opposing teams, players and fanbases all clamored for Beal to join their squad, but the Wizards, and Beal stood firm and shut down any and all trade buzz surrounding the three-time All-Star. Even though he's re-signed on a five-year, $251 million contract with a no-trade clause, Beal doesn't expect the trade rumors to slow down.

"It's funny, [Tommy Sheppard] and I were just talking about it, it's never going to end," Beal said Friday. "It's not, because now [media] will be like, 'When is he going to lift his [no-trade] clause?' It's never going to stop, so I understand what comes with the territory. I understand the position I'm in. I embrace it. I embrace this position, and I approach it headstrong. I don't run from anything."

Beal has a point. The no-trade clause, should he ever request a trade, would allow him to basically pick where he wants to go. That fact won't slow down the speculation regarding his standing with the Wizards unless the team starts to win.

Speculation or not, Beal has committed to the Wizards by signing a five-year contract, and the Wizards have committed to Beal by giving the no-trade clause.

"This deal really speaks to Brad and how loyal and how hard working he will be to the benefit of the Wizards and his teammates," Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said. "He doesn't want to be traded and we don't want to trade him. For us to have that kind of commitment, especially in today's NBA, I think, was really a testament to what was in his heart and soul about the importance of loyalty and knowing that he would be here."

Perhaps Beal and the Wizards can position themselves on the opposite side of the trade speculation they've been subject to in recent years. Instead of being rumored to lose a player, maybe they can become the team aiming to acquire a disgruntled star.

Washington hopes its commitment to Beal will help turn them into a destination. The Wizards have retained their star, now it's a matter of either developing a few more or attracting one by building a winning culture around Beal.