Today we’ll dive in and take a look into a NBA player with so much potential, who’s one of the deadliest scorers in the NBA, but is he on the wrong team? Bradley Beal is proved to be a walking bucket, but with all that he does to keep them afloat, his team is just a lost cause. He’s shown the Wizards his loyalty by sticking around, and even with his record-breaking performances he may have to make some difficult decisions about his future with the team. With the current 2020-2021 season under-go, Beal is scoring the highest in the league with averaging 34.9 points per game, but is this enough for the Wizards to beat the odds of being playoff contenders this season? Today’s topic is “How Good is Bradley Beal?”
So before Beal became the walking bucket he is now, he attended Chaminade College Prep School in St. Louis, Missouri. He played for the Under-16 USA team in 2009 and Under-17 USA team in 2010 and led both the teams to a gold medal. In his last year of high school, he averaged 32.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He was recognized as the top high school basketball player in 2011 and won the Mr. Show-Me Basketball award. He also was named the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year and was a McDonald’s All-American.
With the numbers he put up and being a 6’4 shooting guard, Beal was highly recruited. He decided to commit to the University of Florida to play for Billy Donovan. His freshman year he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and All-SEC first team. The Gators advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, but were eliminated. After his first college season, he decided to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft.
Beal was a top draft prospect and was picked third overall by the Washington Wizards. He had his first career high of 24 points early in the season. He was chosen to participate in the Rising Stars competition in the 2013 All-Star Weekend. He suffered from a season ending injury only playing in 56 games, but he was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team and was a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
In the 2013-2014 season, Beal became the youngest player to participate in the Three-Point Shootout. He helped the Wizards earn a playoff spot, which hasn’t been done since 2005, but they were defeated by the Bulls in the first round.
In the 2014-2015 season, the Wizards made it to the playoffs again and Beal scored a playoff career-high 28 points in Game 1, and then topped his high in Game 4 scoring 34 points. They went on to lose the series in six games, but this was definitely an accomplishment for the Wizards making it farther than they did the previous season.
But unfortunately in the 2015-2016 season, he battled injury after injury. This is the most games he’s ever had to sit out, and due to his inability to play the Wizards didn’t make it to the playoffs this year. With the little games he did play in he had a career-high average of 17.4 points per game.
Beal continued to be loyal to the team who drafted him and he re-signed with the Wizards for the 2016-2017 season. He came ready to play and for the first time in his career, he scored 30 or more in consecutive games. On November 28th he recorded a career-high in three-pointers and scored a total of 31 points. He recorded his fourth 40 point game on February 24th, 2017, but in a loss to the 76’ers. Beal became one of three players in NBA history to average 23 points and shoot above 40% from the three, while being 23 years old or younger. The Wizards made the playoffs this season. Beal and the Wizards put up a tough fight and took it all the way to Game 7, but were eliminated.
Beal continued to put up numbers in the 2017-2018 season. He scored a season-high 40 points, and then topped it scoring 51 points. But, how useful is it to bring those numbers to the table and still lose in the end? Beal became the youngest player in NBA history to have 700 made three-pointers, and that proves how efficient of a scorer he really is. It took the league a few years, but he was finally named an All-Star in the 2018 All-Star. And arguably, it probably would’ve happened sooner if he had been on a winning team. He continued to put up the numbers, but the Wizards continued to lose. They made the playoffs, and went up against the Toronto Raptors. Beal put the team on his back, and helped tie the series at two apiece. They ended up losing in six games.
In the 2018-2019 season, Beal broke the franchise record for the most three-pointers in a career, passing up Gilbert Arenas, with 869. He also joined the club with Oscar Robinson to have multiple games of 40 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in a season. He finished the season averaging a career-high 30.9 points. In April 2019, he became the first player in franchise history with 2,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists in a season and the first to average at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists playing in all 82 games for a second consecutive season.
Going into the 2019-2020 season, Beal signed a 2-year contract extension with the Wizards. He scored 44 points in consecutive games, but once again both games didn’t result in a win. Beal was still going strong with scoring in any way possible and he became the first player, since Kobe in 2007, to score 50 points on consecutive nights. He came close to a scoring title averaging 30.5 points per game, but was outdone by another deadly scorer, James Harden. The NBA season came to a stop and restarted in Orlando in “The Bubble” but Beal had to have shoulder surgery and missed the restart.
So now, currently, Beal has been in trade talk, along with James Harden. The only difference is that he wasn’t vocal about wanting to be traded, but teams are watching Beal and starting to circle around like a bunch of hungry sharks. He wants to spend his entire career in Washington, but he seems to be coming to his breaking point. Right now he’s leading the league in scoring averaging 34.9 points per game, and he’s become the fourth player in 45 years to score at least 25 points or more in his first 10 games of the season. He’s shooting 52.6%, which is higher than his past two seasons. Pretty much, when Beal isn’t in the game, things get bad, and this is even with Westbrook on the floor. Even with Brad and Westbrook, the Wizards have only a 11% chance of making the playoffs. And keep in mind with all the work Beal’s been putting in, he’s never been named to an All-NBA team, which is hard to believe. This is the true definition of an underdog, and that Wizards are only holding him back from his prime. It’s a hopeless situation, and the only way for him to win is to have a new start somewhere else.
Honestly, Bradley Beal should have a lot more accomplishments under his belt, with all the years he’s been in the NBA. He’s stuck in the same situation that Anthony Davis was in, so maybe he should follow in AD’s footsteps and move on. It’s great to have loyalty because that is a lost art in the NBA nowadays, but you gotta know when to move on.