As expected, the Washington Wizards offered All-Star guard Bradley Beal a three-year, $111 million max contract extension as soon as he was eligible for the extension on Friday, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic. Though the offer is on the table, Beal isn’t expected to sign it anytime soon, if at all.
“So, bookkeeping: the Wizards made their three-year, $111 max extension offer to Bradley Beal today, the first day they’re eligible to do so, per sources. Beal, unsurprisingly, is not signing it immediately, if at all.
While grateful for the gesture and while wanting to not abandon the team as it approaches a likely rough season, obvious questions remain about the team’s short- and long-term plans during the prime of his career. And Beal also remains eligible for the much more lucrative supermax after next season if he makes one of the three all-NBA teams for Washington after next season. The sides will continue what have been amiable discussions next week.”
The decision to offer Beal a max extension doesn’t come as a surprise at all, as new general manager Tommy Sheppard previously stated that he planned to do exactly that.
“At the very first moment allowed, we are going to offer Brad the full max extension,” Sheppard said, via ESPN. “He’s got two years left on his deal, and he’s from Missouri and we are going to have to show him. We need to show him that we are about building this the right way, that we aren’t going to have character-deficient guys around him. We are going to surround him with guys he wants to play with. He saw that right away in free agency with us bringing back Thomas Bryant.”
As Aldridge pointed out, Beal ever signing that extension is far from a guarantee.
For one, Beal would be eligible for a five-year, $254 million supermax extension next summer if he makes an All-NBA team this upcoming season. That may not be a bad bet for him to make considering he fell just short of the Third Team last season, and figures to be in a position to rack up plenty of stats on a bad Wizards team.
He averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting 35.1 percent from 3 last season, and did so while playing the most minutes in the league. None of that should change, and his sky-high 27.7 usage rate should climb even higher. Plus, even if he once again falls short of that accomplishment, he’d still be able to get a four-year, $155 million extension next summer.
And about that Wizards team. Bad may be an understatement considering what the roster surrounding Beal looks like right now. John Wall is still rehabbing from his torn Achilles tendon, and there’s no guarantee what he’ll look like whenever he’s able to make it back on the court, which may not be until around the All-Star break. Aside from Beal and Wall, it would be a struggle for casual fans to even name the remainder of their projected starting lineup, and Beal may balk at locking himself into this situation long-term.
No offense to Thomas Bryant, who is a solid player and came on strong to close last season, but it’s a bad sign when he’s being used as a primary reason an All-Star player like Beal should stick around.
Regardless of what happens with Beal’s contract situation this summer, the Wizards claim they have no intentions to trade him — at least for now. Their tune may change though, especially if Beal decides not to sign the extension and they struggle to start the season, as most expect they will.