The Wizards and their franchise player retain a bond that has stuck through early injury issues in his career, the unfortunate derailing of star teammate John Wall due to injury and the failed Russell Westbrook experiment, among other misadventures.
Washington is relying on that bond as it evaluates its options for the Feb. 10 trade deadline before what likely will be Beal's first foray into unrestricted free agency.
Beal has made it clear he doesn't plan to sign an extension and likely will skip his player option. That would make some teams nervous, but to this point there has been no real discussion of Beal on the trade market, league executives said.
The Wizards are preparing to roll the dice with the belief that Beal will re-sign.
Washington isn't the only franchise measuring risk before Feb. 10. League executives and agents are approaching this trade season as a referendum on risk tolerance. A number of teams are sitting on the fence, with major decisions surrounding star players looming less than a month before the deadline.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Tommy Sheppard and Beal have a trust level and stay in communication. Beal was part of the decision to trade Westbrook last summer and was a lead recruiter in bringing in free agent Spencer Dinwiddie, team sources said. Beal and his family have forged a close relationship with new teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Washington has another significant advantage.