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Wizards Eye Cap Space, Offer Beal Less Than Max?

MONDAY, 4:47pm: Beal indicated that negotiations remain open and cordial, and that the lack of an extension by the deadline doesn’t mean the sides won’t strike up talks again next summer, when Beal would be a restricted free agent, writes J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic.

“I’m confident [something will be worked out before October ends],” Beal said, according to Michael. “It’s just a matter of them doing it. If they do or don’t it’s fine either way. I still have to play the season. That’s the only thing I’m concerned about.” 

MONDAY, 12:30pm: Beal denies that the Wizards made him an offer, Castillo tweets.

FRIDAY, 3:27pm: The Wizards have offered an extension to Bradley Beal, but it’s worth less than the maximum salary he’s seeking because the team wants to preserve cap flexibility for next summer, a source tells Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. That makes it unlikely the Mark Bartelstein client signs an extension, Castillo writes, though the sides have until the end of November 2nd to negotiate. An earlier report indicated that the Wizards wanted non-guaranteed salary involved in any max deal, though Castillo’s dispatch makes it seem as though the total value of Washington’s offer, and not just the guaranteed portion, is less than the max.

Washington would likely have room to bring in D.C. native Kevin Durant or another free agent on a max deal next summer even if the team signs Beal to a max extension, but that would leave almost no flexibility for the team to carry credible bench players, as I explained when I looked at the possibility of Beal’s extension. Keeping Beal unsigned would allow the team to carry his cap hold of about $14.2MM into next summer instead of a max salary figure, which would be a projected $20.4MM. The Wizards would have the right to match competing bids for Beal in restricted free agency if they pass on an extension, so they could let him sit unsigned while they use the July Moratorium period to chase Durant and others.

The plan could backfire if Beal signs an offer sheet with another team that contains terms the Wizards find undesirable. However, Spurs employed a similar strategy with Kawhi Leonard to great success this past year, declining to sign him to an extension and using the extra cap flexibility to sign LaMarcus Aldridge and others before circling back to tie up Leonard on a five-year max deal.

Leonard’s deal includes a player option on the final season, and Beal reportedly wants that in any deal for less than the max. The Wizards can’t sign him to a five-year deal unless he hits free agency, since they already made John Wall their Designated Player, so an extension that includes a player option would allow Beal to leave as soon as 2018.

The Wizards and Beal’s camp have maintained talks but achieved little progress, as Castillo reported earlier this month. It represents a shift from last year, when the Wizards were reportedly already planning to do an extension with Beal when he became eligible this summer. As recently as this spring, Washington was apparently committed to reaching a max deal with the shooting guard, though that may simply have to wait until next July.

What do you think the Wizards should do with Beal? Leave a comment to let us know.

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9 thoughts on “Wizards Eye Cap Space, Offer Beal Less Than Max?

  1. Beal is not worth 20.4

    • You know we live in a world where Enes Kanter just got a max deal right? Tristan god damn Thompson is about to get a max deal. This is the NBA now, if they don’t give him a max plenty of other teams will line up to pay him because he is actually worth it, guy can average 20+ points and shoot over 40% from 3. If he ever learns to defend consistently he’ll be a top 5 SG in the league, if he isn’t already because of the thin competition. 1. Klay 2. Harden 3. Butler then who? Monta Ellis who doesn’t defend and isn’t efficient? Dwade who can’t hit a 3 and only plays 60 games a year? Derozan who defends well and puts up points but not efficiently? 37 year old Kobe coming off 3 season ending injuries? Give me Beal over any of them

  2. Chris Crouse

    I’m not sure Beal should get the max. He will because if he hits the market, some team will offer that to him, but I wouldn’t if I could avoid it.

  3. DmvRyzz

    I agree Beal is not worth 20.4m…if Durant is on the team. We could use the extra cash on F/C or depth. If Durant signs elsewhere then Beal is a deal. Compared to the off season contracts.

  4. Steven Minor

    Pay Beal next yes is not promise . Do mess up a good thing.

  5. Chris Edwards

    All star caliber player but he has an injury tendency. I’m not sure if he’s worth a max deal of $20.4 a year but I don’t think they can afford to let him sign elsewhere. The Wizards don’t have a clutch sharp shooter on their roster that could fill the void if he left. Not that he can’t be replaced but they’d be taking a step backwards because of the chemistry he has with J.Wall and company.

  6. Dana Gauruder

    It’s tough to carry three max players. Wizards want to be major players in free agent market and already have a franchise-type player in Wall. Beal should be willing to settle for a little less. He’ll still get a sizable payday.

    • Don't get it

      The Cavs are going to have 4 max players. Beal shouldn’t be willing to sign for less because he’s a young guy going for his first big paycheck not a vet trying to win a ring on his way out. Owners should be willing to pay a little luxury tax and be thankful they don’t have a guy holding them hostage to spend more.

  7. Travis Bevin

    Bradley Beal should stay with the Wizards because they already lost a good shooter to the clippers Paul Peirce and idlf they don’t have beal on the team next season then who will carry Washington Wizards i mean not aying tht John Wall is not good he is a goood player butwho will help John wall carry the team

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