Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal acknowledged that he’ll “probably” have to deal with a minutes limit for the rest of his career as he continues to have trouble with injuries, according to TNT’s David Aldridge and J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Concern about his health reportedly played a role in Washington’s part of a mutual decision not to extend Beal’s rookie scale contract this past fall, though Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported at the time that the Wizards were planning to offer Beal a new maximum-salary contract when he hits restricted free agency in July.
Beal is only 22 years old, so any possibility of an injury that will hinder him for the remainder of his career is alarming, especially for the team that will sign his paychecks. The fourth-year pro missed 26 games his rookie season, nine the next year and 19 last year with various ailments, though it was a high right ankle sprain Beal played through as a rookie that led to the stress reaction he’s dealing with now, according to Michael’s report.
Washington appeared to have every intention of re-signing Beal for the maximum this summer when he is eligible to become a restricted free agent. The Mark Bartelstein client will be able to negotiate with other teams, but the Wizards can match any offer sheet he were to agree to. Beal could also simply sign his qualifying offer, which would be worth about $7.471MM, and hit unrestricted free agency the following offseason, but that would entail a significant discount from his projected maximum salary of $20.4MM for next season. But these choices are dependent upon Washington still being willing to pony up a max offer, or to match another team’s offer sheet worth that amount, which isn’t necessarily a given at this point.
This brings me to the topic/question for today: In light of Bradley Beal’s potential minutes cap and increased risk of injury, should the Wizards follow through with their intent to ink him to a max salary deal?
It was debatable prior to Beal’s minutes cap statement whether or not he was worthy of a max contract, but this latest news certainly makes the Wizards’ decision regarding him much more difficult. Do you feel that the franchise should still take the gamble and lock down Beal for the long term, regardless of the injury concerns? If so, what sort of contract do you believe would be fair for both parties? Or are you a pessimist who believes that the young swingman is no longer worth the risk and that the Wizards should allow him to explore the free agent market, even if it means potentially losing Beal to another team? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.