Washington Wizards: deep dive on Bradley Beal this season

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards shoots over a group of players from the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards shoots over a group of players from the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

While he may have become a controversial figure in Washington athletics, Bradley Beal has had a quietly productive season for the Washington Wizards. He has been willing to share the spotlight of the franchise with new co-stars and it has largely worked out for him.

While most fans gave Beal unending support before his new contract, even supporting the amount of money he would receive, the no-trade clause caused many fans to turn on the franchise player. The Wizards have made it clear that they want to compete for a championship, for better or for worse, and they believe that he is the key to that goal for this franchise.

This decision put a huge cap on what the front office can do with the roster as they don’t really have any great trade assets. They also can’t trade any of their picks until after the draft for the next few years due to a deal with the New York Knicks that causes the first selection they have that is not in the lottery (up to 2026) to go to them.

That combination has made much of the blame for the franchises inability to move almost anything to fall onto Beal’s shoulders. Even if it’s not really his fault. This has caused some to overlook the season the two-time almost scoring leader has had.

The efficiency of Bradley Beal this season has been ridiculously good for the Washington Wizards.

While his points, assists, and rebounds are all down from last season, Beal has seen a resurgence in his efficiency. He is shooting 5.7% better from the field, 8.2% better from three, and slightly better from the free throw line. He is also producing more blocks, less turnovers, and roughly the same number of steals per game. All while playing three less minutes per game.

These are huge improvements and likely due to the fact that he now shares the floor with two other high caliber scorers in Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. They have opened up the floor for Beal and it is showing in the stats.

His usage rate is the lowest it’s been since he played with John Wall. Another symptom of playing with other good players. This is despite Beal being an incredible all-around scorer and being an underrated playmaker.

Beal is taking shots from everywhere on the floor and is hitting shots consistently from every distance. No distance on the floor takes up more than 26.4% of his shot attempts and no distance takes up less than 14.5% that is about as evenly spread as you can get in the modern NBA.

On top of this, he is hitting 77.3% of his shots within three feet of the basket, 48.6% of his shots from the 10–16-foot range, and 50% on his deep midrange shots. This is insane efficiency when paired with his 38.2% from beyond the three-point arc.

Even better, he is getting back into the catch-and-shoot game as 73.2% of his three-pointers made are assisted on. He is also creating for himself as a majority of his two-point field goals are not assisted on.

On top of this, his advanced stats support how good Beal has been this season. his PER is 19.9, his win shares are at 3.1 and his box plus/minus is +2. Even better, the advanced stats also say he is an ok defender, his defensive win shares sit at one, although his defensive box plus/minus is -1.3. The eye test will, however, say that he is a subpar defender while occasionally being a bad one. Still far from the worst defender in the league.

Bradley Beal has become one of the most well-rounded scorers in the league. The fact that he is willing to share the keys to the franchise with stars like Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma just goes to show why he is the player the franchise chose to lead the way.

Next. Where does Bradley Beal rank among all-time great Wizards?. dark