The Washington Wizards announced today that their starting shooting guard Bradley Beal, will miss the next two weeks with a decidedly grizzly-sounding injury: “the beginning of a stress fraction in his lower right fibula.”
The timing of the injury is especially poor for both the player and the team. As the Wizards’ third overall pick from the 2012 Draft, Beal is playing in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, and is scheduled to hit restricted free agency this summer. Considering that Beal has only payed 56, 73, and 63 games in his previous three seasons, his disappointingly excessive injury history is the type of ting that could cost Beal significant money in negotiations.
Not that the Wizards are necessarily eager to hold that leverage over Beal. Washington currently sits at 9-12, which is only eleventh in the Eastern Conference and a full three games back of the eighth seed (the 13-10 Boston Celtics).
If the Wizards do not recover into the playoff race soon, it’s easy to see how the team could become one of the most active sellers at the league’s Trade Deadline. The team has established veterans like Nene, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Ramon Sessions, and Gary Neal all due to hit free agency after this season, all of whom could help add depth to a playoff team’s bench.