On Thursday, the Washington Wizards announced their intent to enter contract negotiations with Bradley Beal for a new contract. This comes after a tweet by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Beal will opt-out of his previous contract to sign a new five-year, $251 million contract to stay in Washington.
All-Star guard Bradley Beal has agreed to a five-year, $251 million maximum contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
The value of the contract has risen slightly from $248 million due to a recalculation of the NBA’s revenues. Either way, Beal is getting paid a quarter of a billion dollars over the next five years.
For the Wizards, this contract is meant to make their intent to build around Beal very clear. They believe that they can build a contender around him sooner rather than later and will not hesitate to remake the roster through aggressive trades, like last winter for Kristaps Porzingis or earlier this week for Will Barton and Monte Morris. Since Beal will make over $50 million a year in future seasons, it will be very difficult for the Wizards to sign free agents above a midlevel exception for the foreseeable future. Trading aggressively, or seeing one of their recent draft picks like Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert or Johnny Davis develop into a star, is Washington’s only hope of contending.
This isn’t to say that the Wizards have no hope of contending. After all, a significant number of fans wish that the team wouldn’t sign him to the supermax contract. But the reality is that Beal will have his new contract in the weeks ahead and this will be only strategy Washington has to improve their roster in the short term.
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