As teams around the league start to pack their bags upon travelling to the Orlando bubble, we’re starting to see star players opt-out of the 2020 restart. Bradley Beal of the Wizards has decided to not join Washington at Disney World, effectively ending his season. The All-Star guard is by far their most important player, and his absence will indeed hammer the last nail in the coffin for Washington’s playoff hopes despite the team playing the season out anyway.
The Wizard’s announced that Beal’s decision to sit out the rest of the season was ultimately due to a right shoulder injury that he had been dealing with most of the season. Beal had this to add —
“This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” Beal said. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.”
The Wizards will now be without Beal, Davis Bertans, and John Wall for the restart, which ironically questions why the team would even travel in the first place. There is a puncher’s chance they will be able to catch the Orlando Magic to claim the No. 8 seed in the East (5.5 games back). Even with the Brooklyn Nets losing several key players, the Wizards chances to advance are slim to none.
The eight-game Orlando schedule will now feature Washington’s young core of inexperienced players. Players like Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, and Mo Wagner will now get the opportunity to show that they can step up in dire circumstances and gain playoff (ish) experience.