Bradley Beal Calls Recent Trade Rumors a 'Sign of Respect'

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Wizards guard Bradley Beal told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan that despite a recent trade rumor, he is focused on playing with John Wall and the Wizards next season

"I want to see [Wall] get back to that level where I know he can be, especially since my game has grown so much [while he's been out]," Beal said. What can we accomplish together? I'm so happy he's healthy, working his tail off."

Last week, reports surfaced that the Nets had "internally discussed avenues" to acquire Beal. Shortly after, Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein told Forbes that "there are no Beal sweepstakes" in light of the rumors. 

Beal, who signed a two-year, $72 million extension last October, told ESPN that "it's not the first time I've heard this kind of talk. 

"It's interesting," he added. "To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I've been doing good things and guys want to play with me.

"That's an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] want you, s---, that's amazing. At the same time, you don't know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I've put down roots in D.C. I've dedicated myself to this town, this community. I love it here, and it would feel great to know I could grind out winning here instead of jumping to another team."

Beal, 26, was named an All-Star in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He was averaging a career-high 30.5 points and 6.1 assists per game this season when the NBA season was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wall said earlier this week that he's "itching" to return to on-court action next season and is fully healed following his two surgeries which sidelined him for the past year and a half.

"I'm 110%," Wall said Tuesday on a Zoom call in which he was discussing his "202 Assist" program. "I'm healthy."

The former No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft has not played in an NBA game since December 2018. Wall initially had surgery for bone spurs in his left heel, but amid his rehab, he tore his left Achilles tendon and needed another operation in 2019.

Washington was 24-40 when the NBA regular season was interrupted.