The Washington Wizards are reportedly interested in offering Bradley Beal a contract extension this summer. But why?
The Washington Wizards are NOT Trading Bradley Beal, at least according to the Adrian Wojnarowski. On Tuesday night, just a few dozen hours before the 2019 NBA Draft, Woj dropped this nugget on ESPN during an NBA Mock Draft Special…
“Everybody in the league has tried to get at Bradley Beal. They are not trading him. He’s eligible for a 3-year, $111 mil extension later in July. Right now, I’m told it’s the team’s intention to offer that up to him and try and keep moving forward with Beal.”
But why? The extension, on the surface, seems like a way of giving the Washington Wizards some semblance of organizational stability.
Right now, new Bradley Beal trade rumors pop up on Twitter every day. Without a permanent general manager or president of basketball operations in place, it’s hard to say who – if anyone – would be orchestrating and executing those deals. If they’re even real.
Locking Beal into a three-year deal at $37 million per year helps the Wizards in a couple of ways. It allows them to retain their all-star shooting guard, something that seems to be a priority for owner Ted Leonsis.
If Beal were available, it’s hard to believe Leonsis would leave the franchise’s future in the hands of someone with an “interim” label. Not to say Tommy Sheppard isn’t capable. He is. But if he’s going to be making decisions that big, then just give him full control and free reign. And drop the “interim”.
Re-signing Beal now also helps the Wizards create a clearer picture of who to target in free agency, and what to give those targets. Long term deals probably don’t make sense if the Beal rumors start up again next summer or he hits free agency in 2021. Lock him in now and the Wizards can better plan for the long term. Additionally, it gives free agents considering Washington some peace of mind knowing there is some direction in DC.
But it also destroys Washington’s trade leverage. One of the appeals of Beal’s situation right now is that he’s on a fairly team-friendly contract for the next two seasons. Of course, there will still be teams interested in him if his price goes up, but the Wizards return will probably be much less if he’s now costing his new team more money. Raising his price could lower his value. And re-signing him means that if there is a rebuild coming, Beal will be around for it.
And it doesn’t make much sense for Beal, either. Even though he’s said he’d love to retire in a Wizards jersey and spend his whole career in DC, Beal has also said he needs to see progress. The state of the GM search probably isn’t very encouraging for a player that wants to see a team turnaround, so why choose to stick around even longer than he already has too?
Plus, what incentive does Beal have to accept that offer now? Yes, it’s a step up from his current deal, but there’s a chance he could make more if he’s patient. Beal missed out on a big payday this year by failing to make the All-NBA teams and qualify for a supermax extension. This offer certainly softens the blow from missing out on that money. However, if he waits and continues to perform at an All-NBA level, he could be eligible for even more money down the road, whether it’s from the Wizards or a new suitor.
If the rumored extension is true, $111 million is hard to turn down no matter what your projected future earnings look like. Sometimes you can’t pass up what’s guaranteed and right in front of you. At that price, the Wizards might lockup their blossoming superstar for years to come. But at what cost?