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Breaking down Bradley Beal’s supermax contract and no-trade clause

The Wizards’ star is now the only player in the NBA with a no-trade clause.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, now the owner of the second-largest contract in NBA history, was also rewarded for his decade of play with a rare no-trade clause.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal officially inked a five-year, $251 million supermax contract extension. Beal’s new contract, featuring an escalating annual salary, will guarantee the shooting guard an estimated $57 million in the fifth year.

Beal is now the owner of the second-largest contract in NBA history, trailing only two-time reigning league MVP Nikola Jokić, who signed a five-year, $264 million contract this summer.

The most intriguing aspect of Beal’s contract is not its quarter-billion dollar price tag, but rather its incredibly rare no-trade clause. For the duration of his five-year contract, Beal will wield the ability to block any trade in which he is involved.

The ability to veto trades is nothing uncommon in the NBA — the right is automatically granted to any player who re-signs with his team on a one-year deal (or a two-year deal with a second-year option), among other scenarios.

Beal’s no-trade clause is unique in that it is an explicit aspect of his contract rather than a uniform right guaranteed in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Wizards star qualifies for this no-trade clause under the CBA’s Section XXIV, Article 2b:

A Player Contract entered into by a player who has eight (8) or more Years of Service in the NBA and who has rendered four (4) or more Years of Service for the Team entering into such Contract may contain a prohibition or limitation of such Team’s right to trade such Contract to another NBA Team.

Since Beal has played 10 seasons in the NBA, all for the WIzards, he is eligible for this no-trade clause. Though the parameters of Section XXIV, Article 2b are straightforward, no-trade clauses are rarely implemented in contracts due to the flexibility they strip from teams.

No other player’s contract has featured a no-trade clause since the 2017-18 season, meaning Beal is now the only player in the NBA with one. All-NBA caliber franchise players such as Nikola Jokic, Devin Booker, Ja Morant and Karl-Anthony Towns all agreed to massive contracts the same day Beal did, but not one other player’s contract included the elusive no-trade clause.

In fact, Beal is just the tenth player in NBA history to wield a no-trade clause, joining LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, John Stockton, David Robinson and Tim Duncan. All of these players are in the Hall of Fame except for James and Anthony, who are still active, and Nowitzki and Wade, who will be eligible for induction starting in 2023.

Will Beal’s no-trade clause limit the Wizards’ ability to compete for a title in coming years? Or will the two parties’ mutual loyalty push Washington towards contending? Leave a comment and let us know!