After months of speculation surrounding the future of players like John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. amid the Wizards’ struggles, team owner Ted Leonsis went on the record to confirm his star players won’t be involved in trade talks ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
“I love when they go, ‘trade Bradley Beal. Trade John Wall. Trade Otto Porter.’ And I go ‘ok, for who?’ We’re not trading any of those players… wouldn’t throw in the towel on this core,” Leonsis said during an interview with WTOP radio.
Of Washington’s core pieces, Wall was already deemed unlikely to be on the move anytime soon given his enormous contract and recent heel surgery that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. As for Beal, the star shooting guard garnered the most interest out of Washington over the past few months, but nothing ever materialized.
Leonsis putting renewed faith into the Wizards’ core at this point is intriguing, considering Washington’s place in the Eastern Conference standings, in addition to reports from earlier in the season that deemed the Wizards’ key assets available for trade.
The club currently sits 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, improving their position in the standings marginally since getting off to a dismal start to the season, so it’s quite possible Leonsis has had a change of heart regarding his roster over time.