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Bradley Beal expected to opt-out, sign max contract with Washington Wizards

Andrew Buller-Russ

NBA free agency is set to start on June 30 at 6 PM ET. Some of the biggest names expected to hit the market include Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal, though it’s possible the latter never actually becomes available for other teams to sign.

As is, Beal has a $36.4 million player option to decide on by June 29. If he picks it up, he sticks with the Washington Wizards for another season. But there’s another way he can stay in Washington, for an even longer period, even if he chooses to opt-out of his contract. Let’s break it down.

Bradley Beal may opt-out, but only to sign a bigger contract

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

If Wizards fans see the news of Bradley Beal opting out in the next few days, they shouldn’t panic or worry. This move would likely be a precursor to an even bigger contract for Beal with the Wizards in the following days.

If Beal opts out, he can then sign a five-year contract with the Wizards worth roughly $248 million, which would be a new record amount in the NBA.

As Kevin Pelton of ESPN indicates, Beal is “very likely” to decline his player option, choosing to sign the five-year max extension instead. Beal’s new contract would keep him in Washington through the 2026-27 NBA season.

With the Wizards able to offer Beal more money than any other franchise due to having Bird rights since they were the franchise who drafted him, they would appear to be the frontrunners.

As he’s maintained all along, it appears Beal really does want to be a lifelong member of the Wizards, opting against playing for any other organization. For now, that appears to be exactly what the plan is.

Related: 3 ideal Kentavious Caldwell-Pope trade scenarios from Washington Wizards