The Athletic first reported Beal’s decision.
Beal, 27, will be playing in his first Olympics after he withdrew from consideration for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. He is expected to join a host of all-stars who have reportedly committed to competing, including Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, a gold medalist in 2016.
For those headed to Tokyo, jamming an Olympics into the middle of a condensed 2020-21 NBA season and the 2021-22 campaign will be a tight turnaround compared with that even of a normal Olympic year. Although Beal, Lillard, Tatum and Green’s seasons have all ended, American-born NBA stars playing deep into the postseason may be less likely to play for Team USA, with training camp set to begin July 6 in Las Vegas. The NBA Finals could wrap up as late as July 22.
The men’s basketball tournament in Tokyo is scheduled to run from July 25 through Aug. 7. NBA training camps are set to open Sept. 28, with the regular season scheduled to begin Oct. 19.
At least a couple of big names are not expected to compete alongside their countrymen, including the Los Angeles Lakers’ two-time gold medalist LeBron James and 2012 gold medalist Anthony Davis, both of whom were dealing with injuries when their seasons ended this month. The Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, a 2016 gold medalist, is also out.
Beal, at least, will be a boon for Team USA. He averaged a career-high 31.3 points and shot a career-high 48.5 percent from the field for the Wizards this season. He joins forward Rui Hachimura as the second Wizards player in Tokyo; Hachimura will compete for his native Japan.