The Washington Wizards will not offer Bradley Beal a contract extension on his rookie before the November 2 deadline, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge. This means Beal will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2016. As a restricted free agent, Beal can sign an offer sheet with a new team, but the Wizards have the right to match any offer he signs.
The news shouldn't come as a shock, given Beal's demands and the Wizards' cap situation. The third overall pick in the 2012 draft wants a max deal, which would cut into the team's cap space next summer. If they signed him to a deal now, there's a chance they would not have enough cap space left to offer Kevin Durant or anyone else a max deal.
As we've said before, holding off on a new deal likely is a win-win for both sides. It gives Beal the chance to earn the money he's worth on the court with his performance this season, and if he can't keep up his stellar early-season performance, it gives the Wizards a chance to gain leverage and push him to sign a smaller deal.
If you're worried that this increases the chances of Beal walking away this summer, relax. Look no further than how the Spurs handled Kawhi Leonard last season. They could have locked him up early, but by waiting, they kept enough cap room available to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, and then use their rights to give Leonard the max contract he earned that season. For Beal, this is especially advantageous because he could get a five-year max deal as a free agent, whereas he can only sign a four-year extension.
This isn't a Chandler Parsons situation where the team was caught off-guard by how well he played on his rookie contract and unprepared to handle the Mavericks' offer sheet. Beal has always been pegged as a key part of the team's future and they will have the cap space they need to bring him back without breaking the bank.
If anything, this is a good thing because it means we'll be treated to an angry Bradley Beal trying to justify his worth all season long. As long as he can avoid injury, that's good news for everyone.