Washington Wizards: An Open Letter to Bradley Beal


Washington Wizards Fan’s Open Letter To Brad Beal

Dear Bradley Beal,

With news of you possibly returning this weekend in your first game since early December, I wanted to write you an open letter. I want to first say that I am a huge fan of your game and feel that you have the potential to be one of the top shooting guards in the league once you are healthy, focused, and engaged.

However, there has been some discussion (among Washington Wizards fans and others) about how maybe you should be traded so that the Wizards can land that second superstar next to John Wall. Please read that line again.

There is no way that discussion or idea should be happening.

You have all the tools to be that second star for the Wizards and much more. Just in the few years you have been with the Wizards, we have been treated to: your picture perfect jump shot, the super saiyan playoff mode that you switch to and demolish opposing All-star two guards, and your sneaky athleticism that has given us a few highlight reel dunks.

You also have already delivered a few game winners that have been some of the most impressive victories of the past few seasons for the Wizards.

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I have even compared your pairing with Wall to another backcourt whose legacy includes back-to-back championships: Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars.

I can see it and a lot of other knowledgeable basketball watchers can also.

It’s partly the reason your career has been so frustrating to Washington Wizards fans.

We see the results of you working hard and getting better over the off-season, but then get frustrated when you have to miss (usually more than 10) games during the season due to lingering old injuries.

Another huge issue that involves you is that you will be up for a new restricted free agent contract in the offseason, to which everyone expects you to re-sign with the Wizards. It’s the kind of contract that guys who usually are the best players on the team receive, and in this case, will make you the highest paid player on the team.

Some people outside of the District (and even some within it) openly wonder if you are worth the max. Some are worried that you are getting max money off of potential alone and that you may end up like players who also signed big contracts but have yet to live up to their potential.

Just on a limited sample size of this current season, you looked like you were ready to take that All-star leap. You were averaging just under 20 points a game and you had eliminated that awful long two from your game to put up more threes than you had previously done.

You are still a “young” player and haven’t reached your prime or peak just yet. It would be the organization’s worst nightmare to let you walk and become a top player for another team after being patient for so long.

Obviously, the multiple injuries at such a young age is cause for concern.

You have missed a chunk of time in each of your four seasons. I’m not implying that you are at fault for the injuries that keep happening to you. But, as you work your way back to the court, I have a few things that you could try and adapt your game to:

Become more of a catch and shoot type player:

In the previous years, the Washington Wizards’ offense was designed as more of a “traditional” offense which had you handling the ball a lot and creating off the dribble. You tried that with mixed results.

Well, John Wall has turned into arguably the best passer in the NBA and with your replacements such as Garrett Temple and Gary Neal having career years playing the catch-and-shoot game with Wall — just think of the damage you will be able to do under the same circumstances.

As much as I hate to compare different styles and players, Klay Thompson has made a name for himself doing just this and he has made the All-star leap and probably is the league’s second best shooting guard behind James Harden.

Be open to a different role that maybe requires coming off of the bench:

I know that you are super competitive and want to be out on the floor as much as you can to help the team, but maybe until your body is completely healed, you can have a huge role off the bench.

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I realize that you will be on a minutes restriction on your return and they may last until after the All-star break, but I’m talking about a long term solution.

Plenty of good to great players have come off of the bench and have huge influences on how games play out.

In some past cases such as James Harden, Manu Gionobli, and Jamal Crawford, their respective team depended on the them to be the focal point of the offense once they came into the game.

You would instantly be in the running for Sixth Man of Year award and teams would have to change their gameplans to account for one of the best players in the NBA coming off of the bench.

Plus, just because you don’t start games, doesn’t mean you won’t be in to finish games.

Again, I feel that once you are back to one hundred percent healthy, confident, and ready to go, you are a top five shooting guard in the league. Once that Bradley Beal is back and healthy for the Washington Wizards, there is no question that the Wizards are one of the top teams in the East.

A few of us (especially myself) remember that Beal and are holding out hope that you are going to come back with a vengeance to show people why the Washington Wizards are so high on you.

Next: Comparing the Wizards and Warriors: What Could've Been

Until that time, just make sure you get healthy and work hard to prove the doubters wrong once you return.


John Cannady