The Washington Wizards' future appears to be pretty bleak, but that apparently didn't stop Bradley Beal from doing his best to try to woo some of his colleagues during the 2019 All-Star Game festivities.
According to NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes, Beal "couldn't name names" but confirmed he spoke to some of his fellow All-Stars about potentially playing in the nation's capital. Beal said some players approached him about the idea as well.
Beal deserves credit for taking a more active role in trying to lure prospective free agents or trade targets to the Wizards, which runs counter to John Wall's approach in the past.
Of course, approaching marquee free agents and actually signing them are two entirely different concepts.
The obvious question is why a star-level free agent would want to join the Wizards in the first place.
With Beal and Wall leading the way, Washington hasn't advanced past the second round of the playoffs, nor has the team won 50 games. General manager Ernie Grunfeld has continuously failed to build a roster good enough to supplement the Wizards' two best players.
Even when Wall was at his peak, the Wizards weren't a serious threat to land the NBA's biggest names in free agency. They put a lot of their eggs into the Kevin Durant basket when he hit the open market in 2016, only to see him join the Golden State Warriors. Over time, it became clear that was never anything more than a pipe dream.
Now, there are significant long-term concerns about Wall's future after he underwent season-ending heel surgery and subsequently tore his Achilles, which puts the Wizards in a worse position.
Leaving all of that aside, Washington simply has no practical way of adding a third star anytime soon. According to Spotrac, the Wizards are projected to be $166,400 over the salary cap. They don't have the cap space to sign anybody to a max-level deal, nor do they have the assets to swing a trade for Anthony Davis or somebody of that caliber.
Right now, Beal basically has the thankless task of trying to sell a ship while it's slowly taking on water.