The Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal have agreed to a two-year, $72 million contract extension that includes a player option for 2022-2023.
The NBA season is quickly approaching, with the first set of regular season games being on Oct. 22, when the New Orleans Pelicans travel to Toronto to play the defending champion Raptors, and when the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers play at the Staples Center.
The Wizards will enter the 2019-2020 NBA season with close to zero playoff aspirations, as point guard John Wall will miss the entire season with an Achilles injury. Beal, 26, will earn roughly $130 million if he chooses to pick up the player option for 2022-2023.
If Beal decides to decline the player option to re-sign with the Wizards, he would be eligible for a five-year, $266 million contract that would be the largest in NBA history. If he decides to sign with a new team, Beal would be eligible for a four-year, $198 million contract.
Beal, appearing in two consecutive All-Star games, is coming off his best statistical season with the Wizards. The former third overall pick in the 2012 draft averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in the 2018-2019 NBA season.
Even with the injury to Wall and constant incompetent management in Washington, Beal has expressed interest in staying with the team and building a contender with the young core. In an era of player movement, Beal has stuck out as a sort of an outlier, as star players constantly switch teams to compete for a championship. Although Beal is only 26-years old, his mindset may soon change as he approaches his 30s without a championship appearance.
The contract extension doesn’t necessarily guarantee Beal will stay with the Wizards long-term. As the trade deadline approaches mid-season, desperate contenders will be willing to trade multiple draft picks and young pieces for a star-caliber scorer like Beal.