Bradley Beal Perplexed By Report That He Was Turning Down Wizards' $36.4 Million Contract Option
Bradley Beal is set to decline his $36.4 million player option for 2022-23 and reach free agency this summer.
Beal posted on Twitter:
Beal inked a two-year, $72 million deal with the Wizards in October 2019 to silence those rumours.
NBA rules forbid trading his contract for six months, so he'll play the full 2019-20 season in Washington.
Beal took over as the Wizards' face after John Wall was injured and became an excellent scorer and superstar. In 2019-20, he averaged 30.5 points and 6.1 assists.
Washington traded Wall to the Rockets for Russell Westbrook in December 2020 to build around Beal. The relocation didn't enhance the court due to a defence that ranked 19th in rating and worst in points allowed per game in 2020-21.
The Wizards' 34-38 record earned them a spot in the play-in tournament, but they lost in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers. Five seasons with Scott Brooks ended. Wes Unseld Jr., a Nuggets assistant, was hired.
Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell were dealt for Westbrook.
The Wizards' added depth helped them play better than last season, but they were still playoff hopefuls. Their 35-47 record ranks 12th in the Eastern Conference, outside the playoffs.
With more quality around him, Beal's scoring average dropped to 23.2 in 2021-22.
Beal's corpus of work implies he should be an effective scorer, especially at this stage. He's an attacking dynamo and solid facilitator.
Beal will be one of the most accomplished free agents and should be sought after. He can drive a borderline squad into title contention.
At 28, a costly long-term contract would be risky considering he'll be well past his prime by then, but there's always a trade off when signing a high-end free agent with the immediate future in mind.
Washington may help organise a sign-and-trade to help a team regain some value despite losing a longtime cornerstone.