UPDATE: July 7 — Beal has decided to sit out of the season restart in Orlando due to a shoulder injury. The All-Star is dealing with a rotator cuff injury and will not risk it returning this season.
OFFICIAL: Bradley Beal will not participate in the NBA restart due to a shoulder injury. https://t.co/fd0eOT0Baf— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 7, 2020
“Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told the team’s website Tuesday. “Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision.”
Washington Wizards All-Star SG Bradley Beal is expected to travel with the team to Orlando this week for the restart of the 2019-20 season. Whether or not Beal plays is still unknown. Wizards coach Scott Brooks told The Athletic’s Fred Katz that Beal’s decision will depend on conditioning.
So it sounds like this has more to do with how Beal feels about his game than any health risks for the 27-year-old. The Wizards obviously don’t want to put any of their players at risk of injury or further health issues due to Covid-19. Plus, you have to consider that the Wizards are long shots to do anything other than play eight regular-season games in Orlando.
Washington is 24-40 and sits 5.5 games back of the Orlando Magic for the No. 8 seed in the East. The Wizards would need the Magic to lose the majority of their games while also winning at least 6-7 of the eight remaining contests. It’s a pipe dream and one not worth pursuing if it means risking Beal’s future.
We already know that Davis Bertans has opted to sit out for the Wizards as a soon-to-be free agent once the offseason begins. Beal is under contract through the next two seasons with a player option for 2022-23, so opting to sit out wouldn’t be for monetary reasons. If Beal does decide to not play, it could alter the playoff race slightly if Washington isn’t putting up much of a fight.