Tokyo 2020: Could Bradley Beal Represent The Wizards At The Olympics?

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With Tokyo right around the corner, Bradley Beal could serve as the first Washington Wizard to represent the Wizards in the Olympics.

Although winners of gold in Rio in 2016, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team wasn’t up to “snuff” for many. No LeBron, no Harden, no Curry, to name the small list of perennial All-Stars who sat out in Rio. However, the US sent the much scrutinized “C” team into the Summer Olympics instead with smaller market names in Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, and Kyle Lowry. But expectations remained the same, they haven’t wavered since USA Basketball’s inception: Anything less than gold doesn’t suffice.

With top-tier NBA stars deciding to sit out in ’16, the group carried a seemingly similar plan this past summer before the FIBA World Cup in China, as the NBA’s best, including Beal, sat out of FIBA  World Cup play, instead deciding to focus on personal endeavors.

A USA Basketball veteran, Beal’s route to Tokyo isn’t opaque as it seems.

The former Florida Gator and third overall selection in the 2012 draft was named the MVP of the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship. He has gold medals in the 2010 FIBA U17 and 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championships, and prior to his decline of invitation, Beal was also named a member of the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team training camp roster that was used to select the official 12-member 2019 USA World Cup Team.


Along with household names in Harden, Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard, Beal’s chances of starting seem slim, but a backup role seems most likely for the Wizards star guard who is currently averaging 26.1 PPG, good for tenth-best in the NBA, second best among positional shooting guards (Doncic 27.7).

In international play teams tend to use “position-less” starting lineups further allowing the best possible five to be on the court at the same time. In 2012, the Mike Krzyzewski coached unit arrived in London with the starting group of Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Tyson Chandler. Chandler’s role is almost extinct in modern day NBA despite players like Pistons big man Andre Drummond who prioritize rebounding, but with Bryant, ‘Bron, and KD roaming the wings while touting the ability to run the “1”, the flexibility within the roster on both ends of the floor was limitless. One things for sure, most points wins, and Beal’s ability to score the rock is top-tier among NBA guards.

Overall Outlook

Slim. If other stars back out, Beal’s chances would rise significantly, however the talent expected to arrive in Japan donning the red, white, and blue come summer 2020 could rival the heralded ‘Dream Team’ of the 1992 Barcelona summer games. Another All-Star game appearance, a potential All-NBA selection, coupled with elite performances in USA Basketball summer camp and showcase would raise Beal’s chances significantly, but the “Road to the Final 12” will surely be a test for the face of Wizards basketball.