For some, this seemed to be an indication that the 28-year-old Beal had played his final game in D.C. There’s been widespread speculation that he might depart in free agency this coming summer with the elite scorer likely to decline his $36.42 million option for the 2022-23 campaign.
It’s now looking more and more like this won’t be the case. Speaking with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Beal indicated that it’s “fair” to say he’s leaning toward re-signing with the Wizards once free agency opens up.
There’s certainly a financial component to all of this. By returning to the Wizards, Bradley Beal would earn $241 million over five years on a max contract. If the former No. 3 pick were to sign with another team, said deal would top out at $180 million over four seasons. That’s a $61 million difference.
Bradley Beal’s future and the Washington Wizards
Outside of the financial aspect, there’s certainly a debate whether Washington offers Beal the best opportunity to contend for a title moving forward.
Front office head Tommy Sheppard has attempted to team Beal up with big-name backcourt running partners each of the past two seasons. That included trading for Russell Westbrook ahead of the 2020-21 season. After moving off Westbrook this past smmer, Sheppard pulled off a sign-and-trade for fellow guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Both proved to be unmitigated disasters next to Beal in D.C.
Ahead of the NBA trade deadline in February, Washington moved Dinwiddie for injury-plagued Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis. It remains to be seen just how good of a fit he will be with Beal in Washington.
- Bradley Beal career stats: 22.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.2 APG, 45% shooting, 37% three-point
A three-time All-Star, Beal has proven to be one of the best scoring two-guards in the NBA. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, he’s averaging 29 points per game.
If Beal does indeed decide to return to Washington this summer, the onus will be on this downtrodden organization to find him more help. After all, the Wizards have not made it past the conference semifinals since Beal joined the team as the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.