Wizards Notes: Beal, Thomas, Thorn, Tanking

Bradley Beal has an important financial decision to make, but the Wizards star insists that money won’t be the deciding factor, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The front office gave Beal a $111MM extension offer more than two months ago. He hasn’t signed it and hasn’t made a decision on whether he wants to remain in Washington long term. At Media Day, he told reporters that the chance to be on a contender will matter more than the size of the deal.

“I can really retire today and be OK. … So, I want everybody to understand, it’s not the money,” Beal said. “It’s not the money factor here. It’s me. It’s, OK, what’s the direction the team’s going in? Are we gonna win? Is this what we want? We know that this is probably gonna be a development year. It’s gonna be one of those types of years. So, does Bradley Beal wanna be a part of that ultimately? And that’s something I have to ask myself and something I’m probably still not done asking myself. So, I’m gonna use all my time until I can.”

October 21 is the deadline for Beal to accept the current deal, but turning it down won’t signal the end of his time with the Wizards. He will be eligible for a longer, more lucrative deal as a free agent in 2021, and an All-NBA nod would qualify him for a super-max contract that could reach up to $250MM over five years.

There’s more from D.C. on the first day of camp:

  • A lot of contenders would like to find a way to add Beal this season, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic. The former Grizzlies executive writes that swapping newly signed D’Angelo Russell for Beal is a “dream scenario” for the Warriors. He mentions the Lakers, Raptors, Nuggets and Celtics as teams that would also be interested if Beal becomes available.
  • Isaiah Thomas is trying to laugh off his latest injury, a torn ligament in his left thumb that will force him to miss the entire preseason, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. It’s the latest in a series of physical mishaps for Thomas since his last All-Star appearance in 2016/17. “I was in there laughing because I’m like: ‘Damn. It’s always something,’” Thomas said. “But at the end of the day, this won’t break me. I’ve been through way worse.”
  • Rod Thorn, who has more than 40 years of experience as an NBA executive, will serve as a senior advisor to GM Tommy Sheppard, Buckner tweets.
  • With John Wall possibly out for the entire season and a roster filled with young players, the Wizards are in a perfect position to tank, observes Sean Deveney of Heavy. “Keeping (Wall) out, trying to see if you can find a diamond in the rough by playing a bunch of non-guaranteed (contract) guys, that’s the way they have to go,” a rival executive said. “It’s tanking, but you can’t blame them.”
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