All throughout the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors ran rampant about who the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially add to their roster.
Beal is one of the best young two-way guards in the league. He has greatly improved his playmaking, is a great defender, and is a career 38 percent shooter from the three-point line. Additionally, his contract was expiring and the Washington Wizards — especially in the wake of John Wall‘s injury — are in a major rebuilding phase.
No one would’ve blamed Beal for demanding a trade much in the way Davis did from the New Orleans Pelicans, but he actually did the opposite and signed a contract extension with Washington. In an interview with Dan Woike of Los Angeles Times, Beal expressed no regrets for his choice:
“I’m good. They made their own decisions,” Beal said. “At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee you’ll win a championship by jumping ship. Only one team wins.
Beal is definitely right in that regard. Plenty of teams have put together All-Star players in hopes of winning a championship only to fall short. The Lakers themselves know that feeling all too well and the addition of Beal guarantees nothing. Beal was reminded of that as he made his decision to remain in Washington:
“When it came down to my decision making, I really factored that in. It looks great, but the grass isn’t always greener.”
Because of his extension, Beal won’t hit free agency until 2022 but despite what he says about wanting to stay in Washington, this decision doesn’t guarantee he will remain there long-term. On the contrary, some would argue this makes him a more desirable trade target as a team would have him under control for multiple seasons as opposed to being an expiring contract.
If Beal were to be dealt, the Lakers would seem to be an unlikely destination. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo all have what amounts to a no-trade clause because of the deals they signed with the Lakers. Without them as possibilities and the lack of available draft picks thanks to the Davis deal, the Lakers simply don’t have the assets.
By all accounts, Beal is a loyal person who would love to stay in Washington and he may very well do so. Regardless of what happens, it certainly seems like the Beal-to-Lakers rumors can finally end.