2:35pm: As expected, the Wizards have offered Beal an extension, reports Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
8:21am: All-Star guard Bradley Beal is now eligible to sign a contract extension with the Wizards that would tack on up to four years and $181.3MM to his current deal, starting in 2022/23, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
Beal signed his last contract extension on October 17, 2019. Typically, a player has to wait at least two years to become eligible for another extension, but the two-year anniversary for extensions signed between October 2 and the start of the regular season is considered to be October 1.
According to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, general manager Tommy Sheppard said last month that the Wizards planned to offer Beal a max extension “at dawn” on October 1. While Sheppard may have been exaggerating a little for effect, it seems safe to assume an offer will be on the table for Beal very soon, if it’s not already.
Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein said this week that his client is “really excited about the team and the direction the team is going,” adding that “everything is pointing in the right direction,” according to Wallace. However, the 28-year-old doesn’t sound like he’s in a hurry to lock in a new long-term deal quite yet, telling reporters on Monday that he’ll let the team and Bartelstein figure out his contract while he focuses on what happens on the court.
“My biggest thing is getting us off going to a good start,” Beal said. “We worry about the contract money and all that later. I’ll let them deal with it when the time comes, for sure. I got all year to sign, too. So I’m not in a rush.”
Beal’s point is a good one — unlike a number of other players around the NBA who face an October 18 extension deadline, he’ll still be able to finalize a contract extension anytime during the 2021/22 league year.
It’s also worth noting that waiting until he can become a free agent in 2022 would be more advantageous for Beal from a financial perspective, even if he already knows he wants to be with the Wizards long-term. As a free agent, he’d be eligible to sign a five-year contract worth $241.6MM with Washington, or a four-year deal worth $179.1MM with another team. Those figures are based on a projected $119MM salary cap.
Beal’s decision to accept a two-year extension back in 2019 was a surprising one, so it’s possible he’ll surprise us again by how he handles his upcoming contract year. For now though, it sounds like he’s content to see how the new-look Wizards’ roster performs under new head coach Wes Unseld Jr. before he makes any major decisions about his future.