NBA

NBA free agency: Wizards to sign Bradley Beal to five-year, $251 million supermax contract extension

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Bradley Beal will re-sign with the Washington Wizards on a five-year, $251 million supermax contract, his agent told The Athletic. Beal missed the end of last season after undergoing wrist surgery, but had been an All-Star in three of the previous four seasons for Washington. After years of speculation about his future, he has decided to remain with the Wizards on a long-term deal.

Beal technically opted out of his contract on Wednesday, using a player option that he negotiated into an extension in 2020. However, that didn’t see him leave Washington. It simply allowed him to sign a new deal at his actual maximum salary, earning every last penny he could as a member of the Wizards. 

That money likely played a huge part in Beal’s decision to remain in Washington. The Wizards have made the playoffs just once in the past four seasons, and Beal himself has voiced his frustration. But he has also made it clear that he wants to be the player that ultimately turns things around in Washington. Earlier in his career, he and John Wall led the Wizards into the playoffs on multiple occasions. Wall is set to join the Clippers, but Beal has never left Washington. 

Now that the Wizards have a commitment from Beal, it’s up to them to put a contending-caliber roster around him. They’ve done well over the past few years to pick up decent players when possible. Kyle Kuzma had a breakout season in Washington last year. They just acquired Monte Morris and Will Barton. Kristaps Porzingis is valuable when healthy, and there are young players in place from years of picking in the lottery.

But eventually, the Wizards are going to have to find Beal another star teammate like Wall if they plan to make a real run in the Eastern Conference. Getting him locked up should aid in that pursuit. The Wizards now have their best player in the fold for the long haul, and for their sake, hopefully other top players around the league will want to join him.



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