Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal has had an incredibly productive — and historic — start to the 2020-21 NBA season. Beal has played in 17 games for Washington so far, and has scored at least 25 points in each appearance. In the process, Beal passed Michael Jordan to set the record for most consecutive 25-plus point games to start a season since 1976-77. Considering the fact that Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time, it’s pretty impressive any time that a player passes him in the record books.
Given how consistently productive he has been on the offensive end, it’s no surprise Beal is leading the entire NBA in scoring on the season with an average of 35 points per game. Unfortunately for Beal, his enormous offensive output hasn’t led to many wins for Washington, as the Wizards sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 5-13 record. In fact, sometimes it seems like the more points Beal scores, the worse Washington does. Last week, Beal became the first player in NBA history to lose 10 straight games in which he scored 40 points. Often when players pile up points like Beal has been doing, their teams are able to capitalize in the win column, but that just hasn’t been the case for the Wizards.
The losing is understandably taking its toll on Beal. When asked by a media member last week if he was frustrated with his team’s performance, Beal offered a simple — and telling — response:
“Is the sky blue?
“It’s tough. I’m not gonna sit here and be naïve. It’s tough,” Beal added. “We wanna win. I wanna win. This is why I stayed. I wanna win [here]. I figure this is the place I can get it done. So, it’s tough.”
Given how well he has been playing, and the fact the Wizards are well outside of the playoff picture in the East, Beal’s name has frequently popped up in trade rumors in recent weeks. After all, he does project as an excellent fit on several current title contenders. Yet despite the Wizards’ struggles and his resulting frustration, Beal reportedly isn’t interested in a trade out of Washington. Instead, he wants to right the ship with the Wizards — the only team he has ever played for in his professional career.
Things change quickly in the NBA, though. If the Wizards continue to flounder, perhaps Beal will change his stance when it comes to a trade and decide that he would rather be suiting up for a team that has a chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season. The NBA’s trade deadline is set for March 25 this season, and all eyes will continue to be on Washington until then.