In his first media session since undergoing season-ending wrist surgery, star Bradley Beal was asked Thursday if it’s fair to say he’s leaning towards re-signing with the Wizards, to which he replied, “That’s fair, that’s fair,” according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).
Beal can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason by declining his $36.4MM player option for 2022/23, making him eligible for a five-year, maximum-salary deal worth $245MM+. Beal will have 10 years of service once the new league year begins, which will allow him to sign for 35% ($42.35MM) of the projected $121MM salary cap for 2022/23, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.
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Beal said winning and the team’s role in the community are the most important factors in deciding his future. “It’s a big summer and I’m excited for it. Ted (Leonsis), Tommy (Sheppard), we all are,” he said. Beal considers his 2021/22 season “up-and-down” and “incomplete,” and is frustrated by the fact that he could only play 40 games due to the injury (Twitter links courtesy of Chase Hughes).
Beal said being out for the remainder of the season will allow him more time to consider his future while observing the roster and development of the team’s young players. He said that aspect of being sidelined was a blessing in disguise, Hughes tweets.
Beal was also complimentary of new addition Kristaps Porzingis. “Just imagine him and Gaff (Daniel Gafford) out there. That’s going to be sick. Then, you’ve got Kuz (Kyle Kuzma) at 6’9″, 6’10”. We’ve got great size. We’ve never had that,” Beal said. Porzingis has yet to play a game for the Wizards, but he was able to play five-on-five with the team for the first time Thursday (Twitter links via Hughes).
The Wizards are currently 28-33, 11th in the East. They trail Atlanta by one game for the final spot in the play-in tournament. Beal averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists on .451/.300/.833 shooting in his 40 games (36.0 minutes) this season.