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Bradley Beal basing free agency decision on desire to win

Andrew Buller-Russ

After spending 10 seasons starring for the Washington Wizards, is it actually possible Bradley Beal decides to depart in free agency this summer?

If Beal stays put and chooses to re-sign with the Wizards, he can land the largest contract in NBA history, which has to be a tempting thought. Walking away from what could potentially be a five-year, $245 million contract can’t be easy.

Then again, Beal has earned an estimated $177 million thus far in his NBA career. Not bad for a 28-year-old who still has several strong years ahead of him in the league. Could Beal ultimately opt for what would still be a massive contract, even if it’s not the full max amount Washington can offer from having his Bird rights?

Bradley Beal’s comments could hurt Washington Wizards fans

NBA free agency officially opens on August 2, which is when Beal will be able to either re-up with the Wizards for five more years, or possibly even join a new team for the first time in his pro basketball career.

The current expectation is for Beal to return to Washington, laughing all the way to the bank as he enjoys his new money, but what if the three-time All-Star is willing to sacrifice a few dollar bills for a stronger chance to compete for an NBA title? After all, Beal has yet to make it out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, maybe that itch to win a ring is stronger than some think for the talented two-guard.

In a recent interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Beal spoke a bit about his upcoming free agency decision and some of his comments could hint at where he’s leaning, for now.

“I know what my decision will be based off. It’s gonna be where I feel like I can win and that’s going to be my decision. If I feel like I can win in D.C., that’s what I’m going to do, and I want people to respect that. You may or may not, but I’m gonna fight my a** off. I’m gonna compete and I’m gonna try to make this team better. If it’s elsewhere, it’s gonna be the exact same commitment.”

Bradley Beal on upcoming free agency decision

Beal’s Wizards started 10-3 last season before fizzling out and finishing their year at 35-47, for a 12th place finish in the Eastern Conference.

They don’t have an upcoming star, as Beal is their top talent. They don’t pick until 10th in the 2022 NBA Draft, meaning they’re unlikely to land one of the very best players in this draft class either.

As Beal states, his decision will come down to his ability to win in his next NBA destination, will that be with the Wizards?

Meanwhile, there are other teams who may be able to field a stronger roster, at least on paper, such as the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat, two teams who would likely have great interest in adding the dynamic scorer to their fleet. If a strong contender is pushing hard for Beal as he weighs a ridiculous contract offer from the Wizards, he’ll have an extremely difficult decision to make in a few weeks.

Related: Bradley Beal to the Miami Heat, how a trade might look