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Bradley Beal becomes only NBA player with no-trade clause

Andrew Buller-Russ

It’s clear that Bradley Beal hasn’t been blowing smoke all this time when he speaks of wanting to be a member of the Washington Wizards for life. Despite several trade rumors over the past few years linking the star shooting guard elsewhere, he’s always remained loyal.

Recently Beal had a chance to choose his own destiny of sorts, with the option of shopping around as an unrestricted free agent. He didn’t take that route. Instead, he doubled down, signing a five-year, $251 million extension, keeping him in Washington through the 2026-27 season. But there’s more to the story than just the dollar amount and expiration date.

Washington Wizards would have a hard time trading Bradley Beal

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

All those rumors about Bradley Beal heading to a different team? Dead. And we aren’t likely to hear them pop up again ever again. I know that’s a bold statement, but there are two very real reasons why.

First off, Beal is now the only player in the current NBA to have a full no-trade clause on his contract, meaning it is up to Beal, and only Beal, to decide whether he’d agree to a trade. This means he truly can pick his own destination, preventing him from landing somewhere he does not want to be.

Even more important, making him even tougher to trade, is Beal’s 15% trade kicker included on his new deal. This means his yearly salaries would increase by 15% for each year on his contract, which is already one of the most expensive deals in the NBA.

YearCurrent salarySalary if traded
2022-23$43,279,250$49,771,137
2023-24$46,741,590$53,752,828
2024-25$50,203,930$57,734,519
2025-26$53,666,270$61,716,210
2026-27 (Player option)$57,128,610$65,697,901

Though, to be fair, Beal’s contract increasing by 15% with a trade wouldn’t be much different than the general inflation from year-to-year as the salary cap rises anyway. If teams are willing to pay $43.2 million for Beal, what makes $49.7 million so much different? It may seem like a ridiculous amount, hearing an extra 15%, but the numbers aren’t all that scary.

Also, since his contract was recently signed, Beal now cannot be traded again until December 15. Whether the Wizards have another disappointing season or not, I wouldn’t expect Beal to hit the trade block by the deadline. When considering the no-trade clause plus the 15% trade kicker, it’s now clearer than ever, Beal doesn’t want to be playing basketball anywhere other than in Washington.

Related: How a John Collins to Washington Wizards trade could look