Veteran guard Bradley Beal will be 30 years old by the time the 2023-24 NBA season begins, but in the eyes of Washington Wizards executive Tommy Sheppard, Beal is just getting into the prime of his career.
Tommy Sheppard said he believes Bradley Beal "is getting into the prime of his career," adding that health is the key. Beal just had one of his most efficient seasons, but played only 50 of 82 games.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) April 10, 2023
Beal has spent his entire career with the Wizards after being selected by them as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He and the organization have enjoyed some special years together, but they’ve certainly seen some lean years as well.
Washington’s recent seasons certainly fall under the “lean years” category. The team hasn’t had a winning record in any season since the 2017-18 campaign, and the last time it won a playoff series was the 2016-17 season.
Beal has certainly done his best to turn things around for the franchise. This season, he averaged 23.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from deep.
During Washington’s struggles in recent years, Beal has had some remarkable scoring seasons go to waste. Over 117 games between the 2019-20 season and 2020-21 campaign, he maintained a scoring average of 30.9 points per game.
The former lottery pick is a three-time All-Star, and he’s undoubtedly the face of Washington’s franchise. He’s under contract with the team through at least the 2025-26 season, so the Wizards are surely hoping that he’s just now entering his prime, but the truth is that he isn’t getting any younger.
It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Beal. Next season will be his 12th at the NBA level. The Wizards have a lot of work to do if they want to build a contender around him, as they finished just 35-47 this season.
It’s going to be a big offseason for the team, especially since they have some key pieces with player options for next season. Kyle Kuzma (21.2 points per game this season) and Kristaps Porzingis (23.2) both fit that description.
Wizards fans would surely love nothing more than to see Beal bring a title to Washington, but the organization has some boxes to check before that can become a realistic goal and expectation for the star guard.