At this time last season, Bradley Beal couldn't do anything because of a stress injury in his lower right leg. Going into this offseason, after playing more than a month longer because of the Wizards' playoff run, he's got a green light to fine-tune his game which will include participating in USA Basketball camp now that he has accepted the invite from coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"They still tell me not to do anything," he said with a laugh about the Wizards. "I'm going to take a little time off and get back to it. ... I'm going to continue to get better in order for this team to move forward.
"I'm granted a great opportunity not many 20-year-olds have to represent the country and play in an Olympics. Whatever it takes I'm going to go out there and bust my butt as best I can and prove to Coach K I'm capable of playing for him."
Beal was invited to participate in a mini-camp with USA Basketball last July but only could do non-contact drills.
He appears to have dodged the bullet this time. Beal had a recurrence of the stress injury in late November and missed nine games this season. He led the Wizards in average minutes per game up to that point with 40 but then played a prolong period with a minutes restriction. Beal didn't play more than 31 minutes when he returned Dec. 16 until Jan. 29, which included having to sit him for overtime games. The limit was increased to about 35 for almost another month, and after that Beal played though a right hip pointer and right ankle sprain.
Beal averaged 42 minutes in 11 playoff games, only playing less than 40 minutes once.