The NBA offseason always brings about rapid player movement around the league. There are several dominoes that will inevitably fall this summer around the Association, but one major decision that could cause a ripple effect is Bradley Beal’s $36 million player option for the 2022-23 season.
While the player option is easy to understand, Beal actually has a string of several decisions to make this summer. Let’s break them down.
Bradley Beal contract possibilities are complicated
While Bradley Beal may be one of the biggest names included on the top 2022 NBA free agent list, many expect him to stick around in Washington for an 11th season. Beal has always remained loyal to the franchise that drafted him, and there’s been no indication of him changing his mind in recent time.
Then again, stars get sick of losing all the time, it’s certainly possible Beal has grown fond of picturing him playing with another star at the top of their game, whether that’s in Washington or elsewhere.
Nevertheless, Beal’s contract decision isn’t as simple as choosing whether to pick up his player option or deciding to decline it for the 2022-23 season, which would make him a free agent.
If Beal picks up his player option, it’s possible Beal will then agree to a long-term extension with the Washington Wizards shortly after. Since picking up the option would be another indicator of his loyalty to the organization, another extension can’t be ruled out. That extension would likely be a five-year, $232 million deal, but it’s not the best option for Beal.
Another possibility includes Beal opting out, then signing a four-year extension for $181 million, still, a better option remains.
If Beal would prefer to opt out and sign with another NBA franchise, he’d be sacrificing even more money. Since the Wizards are the team that drafted Beal, they’re allowed to offer him the most money, via the Bird rights rule allowing teams to go over the cap to retain players they’ve drafted.
For Beal, if he chooses to sign elsewhere, the most a team can offer is a four-year, $182 contract.
Compared to re-upping with the Wizards, who can offer a five-year, $245 million contract once Beal becomes a free agent, it’s not hard to envision Beal already having his mind made up.
Related: 2022 NBA mock draft: Full two round version with surprise Rockets pick
Brad Beal has already made his free agency decision
According to Beal who spoke with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, he’s already made his free agency decision.
Of course, he hasn’t revealed his announcement to anyone else, but Beal knows his future. Beal didn’t want to expand on his choice, opting for secrecy instead.
But he did let it be known that several other NBA stars have tried to recruit him, looking for Beal to join their squads, though the three-time All-Star didn’t reveal which players or which teams have come calling.
It’s hard to envision any team not wanting to add a player of Beal’s caliber to their roster, but it’s possible they won’t get the chance. Especially if Beal sticks to his word as he looks to build something special in Washington.
Related: Washington Wizards reportedly targeting Jaden Ivey in NBA Draft: 2 possible trade-up scenarios