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Bradley Beal signed extension with Wizards because he didn’t want to take ‘the easy way out’

Bradley Beal, Wizards

Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal put an end to the incessant summertime trade rumors by inking a two-year, $72 million extension with the team right before the start of the 2019-20 season.

The deal allowed for the smoke to clear while also giving him some flexibility to look out for his future in case things don’t work as expected in the nation’s capital. Now more than three months into his newly signed extension, Beal was asked why he chose to prolong his stay with the Wizards:

“I respect the fact that they drafted me, that’s first and foremost,” Beal told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on his recent Posted Up podcast. “Just being in one spot for your whole career, having your jersey in the rafter one day, being that important to an organization, those were all things that drew me.”

Beal was linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and other organizations looking for a budding star to complete their roster, but he chose a two-year commitment to make the chase on his own, instead of forming a potential superteam elsewhere. He further explained his reasoning:

“Honestly, I thought that was kind of the easy way out,” said Beal. “It’ll feel more meaningful and powerful knowing that I grinded it out doing it in D.C. It’s pretty much my team, I’m the franchise here, so it was kind of destined for me to kind of mold it from here.”

The Wizards have indeed shifted from being John Wall’s team to being Beal’s — after all, the Florida product has been on the court more than Wall, who has dealt with a slew of major injuries in the past few years.

There will be some growing pains that come with being the franchise player, but ultimately Beal chose this route to give himself a chance to carve out an opportunity as the leader of this team, which comes with not only wins but losses as well.