Bradley Beal

Latest On Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal hasn’t yet made a decision on his long-term future. He’s two years away from hitting the open market and even if he is leaning one way now, two seasons is a lot of time for someone to change their mind.

With all that said, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears from a source that if Beal decides to leave Washington in 2021, Miami is expected to receive “serious consideration.” The source wouldn’t call the Heat or any team the favorite for Beal’s services.

Miami’s interest in Beal is no secret. Miami will surely target Beal in the 2021 offseason if he makes it to the open market. There were rumblings that Miami was looking to deal for him this summer and that there were talks within the franchise about a willingness to take back John Wall and his contract in a trade for Beal. There’s been no indication that Washington is looking to make any sort of trade.

Beal remains open to signing long-term with the Wizards. While he’s not inking the extension he’s currently eligible for, that has more to do with the financial incentives than his committment to the team. Beal can sign a three-year, near $112MM deal as soon as he wants or wait until next summer and sign a more lucrative max extension. By waiting Beal can sign a deal that comes in at four years and $154.6MM if he doesn’t make an All-NBA team and five years and $253.8MM if he does.

Washingon has undergone a makeover in the front office, adding top executive talent to coincide with the promotion of GM Tommy Sheppard as the organization shifts to a data-driven, collaborative structure. It’s been reported that Beal has had questions about the future of the franchise, though all indicators since the team announced those changes this summer have been positive.

And-Ones: Extension Deadlines, Team USA Scrimmages, James

The deadline for players to sign rookie extensions prior to opening night this upcoming season is Monday, October 21 at 6 p.m. ET, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN. That group of 18 eligible players includes Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown.

The extension deadline is the same for a veteran with multiple years remaining on his contract who has met certain criteria, including All-Star guard Bradley Beal. Players with one year left (including a player option) have until June 30, 2020 to sign an extension.

Regular season rosters will also be set on October 21, while Saturday, October 19 will be the last day a team can waive a player with a non-guaranteed contract and not incur a cap hit, Marks adds (Twitter links here).

We have more from the basketball world:

  • The USA Basketball World Cup team will scrimmage against a collection of G League and fringe NBA players over the next three days, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. There are 15 players remaining on the USA roster with Monday’s withdrawal by Kyle Lowry and 12 will make the final roster that will compete in the FIBA tournament in China. The group they’ll scrimmage will be called the L.A. Select Team and be coached by Jeff Van Gundy. That team will include players who participated in FIBA qualifiers, including Scotty Hopson, Chasson Randle and Ben Moore, Givony adds in another tweet.
  • Former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James has signed with CSKA Moscow, according to a tweet from the team. James played a total of 36 NBA games in 2017/18, averaging 9.3 PPG and 3.5 APG in 19.1 MPG. James appeared in 30 Euro League games with Olimpia Milano last season, averaging a league-high 19.8 PPG and 6.8 APG. James and the Italian team mutually parted ways late last month.
  • The NBA released 2019/20 season schedules for every team on Monday. You can find them here.

Eastern Notes: Harris, Satoransky, Leonsis, Heat

Nets shooting guard Joe Harris could double his salary in free agency next summer, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Harris will make $7.67MM during the upcoming season and Scotto notes that veteran shooting guards received well above that figure in free agency this summer. Danny Green signed a two-year, $30MM deal with the Lakers while J.J. Redick got a two-year, $26.5MM contract with the Pelicans.

Harris might get even more, as Scotto points out that several other comparable shooting guards are making between $17.2MM and $20MM this season. The Nets hold Harris’ Bird Rights, giving them the inside track on signing him.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Tomas Satoransky‘s price tag became too much to bear for the Wizards in restricted free agency, as Fred Katz of The Athletic details. The Bulls offered him a three-year, $30MM contract and Washington felt that was too much for a player who’d be a backup once John Wall returned from his Achilles injury. A sign-and-trade was worked out that brought back a 2020 second-round pick and other considerations to Washington. Satoransky wasn’t disappointed. “I always felt like, for me, it was always harder than for others,” he said of his experience in Washington. “I had to always keep proving (myself) to people. And I always felt like, ‘Man, I’ve done enough to have that.’ So, I felt this needs a new start.”
  • Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis will be more visible with a new front office structure in place, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “Our owners are going to be more involved,” Leonsis said. “You constantly have to gauge back and forth: is it good to be involved, or is it not good to be involved? Every agent, every player that I’ve talked to said the more they see Raul Fernandez and Laurene Powell-Jobs and me, the more connected they feel to what our vision and what our ultimate plan is.”
  • Any package that the Heat would send out in a potential Bradley Beal and Wall deal with the Wizards would need to include James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow and Kelly Olynyk for salary-matching purposes, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Trading for Beal alone would probably require the Heat to give up their three best assets, Bam Adebayo, Winslow and Tyler Herro, but they wouldn’t realistically be able to attach a draft pick until next June, Jackson adds.

Southeast Notes: Haslem, Kulboka, Simpson, Simon

Heat veteran forward Udonis Haslem, who re-signed with Miami for a 17th season just yesterday, will not commit to this being his final season, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Winderman adds in a separate tweet that Haslem will not treat the 2019/20 season as a farewell tour, but given Haslem’s primary status as a reserve for the Heat, it’s probably too presumptive to conclude from that alone that this won’t be his last season.

Finally, Winderman opines that unless someone like former Heat player Yante Maten ends up flourishing for another team in the near future, the signing of Haslem as a veteran locker room presence is well worth using up the last roster spot.

There’s more news out of the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Hornets draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka, a 21-year-old Lithuanian swingman who was drafted No. 55 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, has officially signed his contract with RETAbet Bilbao Basket of Liga ACB, reports Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link).
  • Per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports WashingtonWizards point guard John Wall believes that teammate Bradley Beal will sign the three-year, $112MM contract extension being offered by Washington despite the financial reasons for not doing so, as we’ve detailed.
  • The Wizards have officially announced the hiring of Mark Simpson as the team’s new vice president of player performance. Simpson has spent the last three seasons as director of performance for the Clippers, where he oversaw the team’s player load management strategies.
  • Undrafted St. John’s rookie guard Justin Simon recently underwent a workout with the Heat, but left without a contract, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

John Wall Discusses Injury, Bradley Beal, Future

Injuries have slowed down John Wall since he signed a four-year, $170MM extension with the Wizards in 2017, but he tells Michael Lee of The Athletic that he’s not interested in a fresh start with a different team.

Wall has been limited to a combined 73 games over the past two years, and he may miss the entire upcoming season while recovering from an Achilles tear. There have been rumors that Washington might try to unload Wall’s contract, but he prefers to stay with the franchise that drafted him.

“I love where I’m at. I love D.C. My loyalty is to D.C.,” Wall said. “To hear a lot of Wizards people, Tommy (Sheppard, the new general manager), (managing partner) Ted Leonsis and (Monumental Sports and Entertainment senior vice president) Zach Leonsis and all those guys, the whole community is behind me, and they’re not giving up on me, so that’s big for me.

“I’m not one of those guys that wants to play for multiple teams. I want to play for one organization. If it comes down to it, where you have to move around, and it don’t work, they’re giving me the opportunity to come back, not this year but next year after, if I don’t play well, you trade me. I can’t be mad at nobody because they gave me the opportunity and I gave myself a chance to prove myself. That’s all I ask for.”

Wall touches on several subjects during the wide-ranging interview. Here are a few more highlights:

On his sometimes rocky relationship with backcourt partner Bradley Beal:

“Me and Brad are brothers. I tell everybody, you’ve got two young guys that’s so talented. Who ain’t going to bump heads at some time? We both want to be great. We both want to take the last shot. But we built that type of bond. Brad is so mature for his age, you wouldn’t expect for him to be the age he is, but give a lot of credit to his parents and his brothers that raised him. I feel like we need one more shot. We need one more run at it. But we’ve got to add some pieces around us, some dogs that can go to war with us. I mean, me and him together, we can go against anybody.”

On the Wizards’ moves this summer that seem to be building around Beal:

“I’ve known Brad for years before he came into the league. When Brad didn’t make All-Star that one year, I said, ‘It’s crazy, he should’ve made it.’ I was vouching for him every day. It’s going to be times on the court; he don’t pass me the ball, I don’t pass him the ball. We’re going to disagree. It happens. It’s basketball. But put him in that platform, this is what he needs; this is what he should be. This is the type of rise, popular spot that Brad deserves, even if I’m there or not there. When I come back, give him the same treatment, because he deserves it. He’s put in the work. He’s earned it. You’ve seen it from Day 1. Even when John Wall is playing, John Wall is not playing. Give him that same stuff, whether I’m there or not there. He don’t have to be in the shadow. I’m the franchise guy because, yeah, I was here before him. He’s right there. There’s no John Wall without Bradley Beal. There’s no Bradley Beal without John Wall. It’s that simple. And I got nothing to hide to say that. I’m a talented basketball player. That ain’t going to get accomplished if we’re not together.”

On criticism from social media:

“It fuels me. (The) ’16/17 (season) was my best year. (Averaged) 23 (points) and 11 (assists). John Wall is a top-two point guard. I get injured. John Wall is not a top-five point guard? Now, because I’m injured, I can’t defend myself. Now I’ve got the worst contract ever? That’s fine. I deserved that contract. My whole mindset is – it’s in my notes – I didn’t deserve it? When I come back, I’m going to show them I earned it. I never want a handout. I always worked for mine.”

On dealing with an extended injury:

“The one thing I take from this is never take the game for granted. Never. Never. Never. I can’t control injuries. They happen. You can’t. Some people are healthy forever. Some are not. But don’t ever take the game for granted. I never did that. But I just started jogging. For five months. I couldn’t do nothing. I couldn’t walk. I’m thankful that I can jog and walk. And play basketball. … But if the basketball stop bouncing today, the Washington Wizards are going to get their franchise guy. And John Wall, if he stopped playing basketball today, they’ll get a new guy. If John Wall retires tomorrow, the NBA is going to keep going on. I ain’t God. It ain’t going to stop. But I’m doing what I can while I’m here, and enjoying the process. I can’t wait to get back. I got a lot of fire in my belly. I’m itching. I’m itching to get back.”

Why Bradley Beal Won’t Immediately Accept Wizards’ Extension Offer

Today marks the three-year anniversary of Bradley Beal signing his current five-year deal with the Wizards, which means it’s also the day he becomes eligible to sign a contract extension with the team.

New permanent general manager Tommy Sheppard vowed earlier in the week that the Wizards would offer Beal the maximum possible extension – nearly $112MM over three years – as soon as possible. According to David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link), the team did just that today. However, Aldridge says that Beal isn’t signing that offer immediately — if at all.

As Aldridge details (via Twitter), Beal is grateful for the offer and remains committed to the franchise. But he also still has questions about the Wizards’ short- and long-term plans during the prime of his career, and has a better chance to maximize his earnings if he waits to sign a new contract. According to Aldridge (Twitter link), the two sides will continue to have “amiable” discussions about their future.

While it’s impossible for us to know at this point whether or not Beal will ultimately decide that he’s comfortable with the Wizards’ long-term vision and wants to remain in D.C. for the foreseeable future, we can at least crunch the numbers and break down why it makes more sense financially for the All-Star guard to hold off on an extension.

Cap guru Albert Nahmad has a more detailed round-up of all the scenarios on the table for Beal, but here’s a quick look at the maximum-salary extension available to him now as opposed to the ones that could be available next summer:

Year Now July 2020
July 2020 (All-NBA)
2021/22 $34,502,129 $34,502,129 $43,750,000
2022/23 $37,262,299 $37,262,299 $47,250,000
2023/24 $40,022,469 $40,022,469 $50,750,000
2024/25 $42,782,639 $54,250,000
2025/26 $57,750,000
Total $111,786,897 $154,569,536 $253,750,000

That third column is an important one. Based on the NBA’s $125MM cap projection for 2021/22, that’s the super-max contract Beal would be eligible for if he earns All-NBA honors in 2019/20.

On a Wizards squad that projects to finish in the bottom five of the Eastern Conference, Beal will face an uphill battle when it comes to making an All-NBA team. Still, John Wall is expected to miss most or all of the season, and Beal put up his best numbers after Wall went down in 2018/19, averaging 27.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 5.1 RPG in 47 games the rest of the way.

Even if Beal isn’t named to an All-NBA team in 2019/20, he’d still have one year left on his current contract and would have an opportunity to become super-max eligible again during the 2020/21 season.

If Beal plays out the remaining two years on his current contract and reaches the open market in July of 2021, here are the maximum-salary options that would be available to him based on the league’s latest cap projections:

Year Re-signing
Re-signing (All-NBA)
Joining new team
2021/22 $37,500,000 $43,750,000 $37,500,000
2022/23 $40,500,000 $47,250,000 $39,375,000
2023/24 $43,500,000 $50,750,000 $41,250,000
2024/25 $46,500,000 $54,250,000 $43,125,000
2025/26 $49,500,000 $57,750,000
Total $217,500,000 $253,750,000 $161,250,000

As this chart shows, Beal could, in theory, nearly double the total value of his next contract with the Wizards if he waits until free agency to re-sign with Washington rather than signing an extension right now. If he earns an All-NBA spot in either of the next two seasons, the value of his next deal could go even higher.

The salary figures here for joining a new team are also worth noting. Signing an extension with the Wizards today would lock in a $34.5MM salary for Beal in 2021/22. Unless the NBA’s cap projections for that season change significantly over the next two years, he’d be assured of a much larger starting salary by waiting until free agency, even if he signs with a new team at that point.

If Beal believes there might be a chance that his value as a player won’t be as high in a year or two as it is now, he may be more motivated to sign an extension right now and gain some long-term security. He’s still just 26 years old though, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t maintain his current value for at least the next two seasons, barring a significant injury.

With Beal unlikely to accept an extension offer from the Wizards anytime soon, we can probably expect to hear increasing trade speculation surrounding the star guard in the coming weeks and months. However, Sheppard has said the team doesn’t plan to go down that road, and the numbers detailed above show why it makes sense for Beal to wait on a new deal even if he wants to remain in Washington.

As long as Beal doesn’t express a desire to be sent elsewhere, I wouldn’t expect the Wizards to start seriously entertaining a trade anytime soon, with or without an extension in place.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Notes: Leonis, Sheppard, Brown, Medina, Roster

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis believes the franchise can make a quick turnaround, as he told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He believes that with backcourt stars John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the way, Washington can become a contender. However, Wall is expected to miss all of next season as he recovers from an Achilles tear.

“My belief is that you can you do things fast. We have the wherewithal and resources and facilities and technology,” Leonsis said. “If we can bring John back and, with Brad, develop our draft picks and assets, start to manage the [salary] cap, why can’t this be quick? It doesn’t need to be a five years it took when we drafted John and Brad. We can turn this one faster.”

We have more on the Wizards:

  • Leonsis indicated that new GM Tommy Sheppard and chief planning and operations officer Sashi Brown will have equal say on decisions where their duties overlap, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. There is going to be much more shared decision-making in the new front office setup. However, Brown said that basketball personnel decisions will ultimately be made by Sheppard (Twitter links).
  • Daniel Medina will also play a major front office role, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. Medina has been hired as the chief of athlete care and performance for Monumental Basketball. He will focus on medical, training, mental health, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and physical therapy and recovery. “The goal is to create a very collaborative, many-hands-make-light-work level and be prepared for the new NBA where data technology and health and wellness and all of these services merge with what is happening on the court,” Leonsis said.
  • Leonsis now believes having three max players on the roster isn’t conducive to building a successful team, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. Leonsis previously felt that having three max stars was the way to go but he now subscribes to the theory that spreading the wealth is a better approach. “Depth is becoming so much more important in this league, just because of the injuries,” he said.

Inside Kawhi Leonard’s Path To The Clippers

The Clippers were portrayed as a distant third in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes before the opportunity developed to trade for Paul George, but their work behind the scenes paved the way for success, according to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic in a detailed look at one of the offseason’s most important stories.

Everything came together late on the night of July 5 when a tentative deal was reached with the Thunder that would deliver George for a generous return of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round picks and two pick swaps. The Clippers’ front office then held its collective breath during a phone call to Leonard and his representatives to make sure he was on board.

When the answer came, L.A. vaulted into a short list of the league’s elite teams. Pairing Leonard and George gives them a pair of two-way stars in their prime who are capable of delivering the first championship in franchise history. It also brings a pair of Southern California natives back home, but the authors suggest that storyline was overblown in Leonard’s case.

From the start of free agency, Leonard was focused on finding a team that could contend for a title every year. He spoke to the Clippers several times each day once free agency began, continuing the conversation past his official meeting on July 1. The team’s selling points included owner Steve Ballmer’s commitment to winning and to spending whatever it takes to get there, a player-friendly environment and a planned new arena in Inglewood.

It turns out that discretion also worked in the Clippers’ favor. They have a history of making major deals without leaking to the press, as evidenced by recent trades involving Blake Griffin and Tobias Harris. It’s an approach that Leonard’s camp insisted upon, and it helped them as Leonard sorted through his options.

The payoff came late that Friday night as George and Leonard committed to joining forces. As Buha and Amick note, the moves validated everything the Clippers have set up since Ballmer bought the team and allowed them to cash in the assets they collected in the Griffin and Harris deals. All the small moves they had made in recent years suddenly turned into a very big deal.

There are a few more significant details from the Athletic story:

  • In contrast to the Clippers‘ reputation to operating in the shadows, the Lakers tend to be very public about their business. Some observers believe their chances at Leonard were severely damaged when details of his meeting with former team president Magic Johnson became public. “I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and (his uncle and confidant, Dennis Robertson) that sealed the fate of the Lakers,” a person involved in the process told the authors. “I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided we can’t trust the Lakers as an organization. And that was it. I think that was it for them.”
  • Before learning of the opportunity with George, the Clippers ran through exhaustive scenarios about NBA stars who might be available. They contacted the Wizards about Bradley Beal and the Rockets about James Harden, but were turned down in both cases. Leonard, meanwhile, reached out to Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant about coming to Los Angeles.
  • George and Russell Westbrook both talked to the Thunder in June about shaking up the franchise, frustrated by a second straight early playoff exit. However, Oklahoma City management believed everything had been smoothed over by the time free agency began.
  • Leonard, who has built a reputation of knocking off “super teams,” wasn’t especially interested in forming another one by joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers. “Elite players like Kawhi earn their stripes, and he was not going to be a guy who joins a so-called ‘super team,’” a source told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “Now, if a super team forms around him, there is nothing he can control. The Clippers were the best long-term fit.”

Wizards Prepared To Offer Max Extension To Beal

The Wizards will be eligible on Friday to offer Bradley Beal a three-year contract extension worth more than $111MM, and newly-permanent general manager Tommy Sheppard tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the team is ready to put that offer on the table.

“At the very first moment allowed, we are going to offer Bradley the full max extension,” Sheppard said.

[RELATED: Bradley Beal withdraws from World Cup consideration]

Players like Beal – who are on contracts that span at least five years – are permitted to sign veteran contract extensions on the third anniversary of their signing date. Beal’s last contract was finalized on July 26, 2016, so his extension eligibility window opens on July 26 of this year. An extension would start in the 2021/22 season, once his current deal expires.

Still, there’s no guarantee that the All-Star guard will accept the Wizards’ offer once it’s officially on the table. Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein tells Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link) that there “hasn’t been a decision to make as of yet,” suggesting that he and Beal will begin thinking seriously about his contract situation once they have the extension offer in hand.

“There are moments in a career where there are big decisions to make, and Brad will work through everything and figure out the right thing to do,” Bartelstein told Wojnarowski. “There are nothing but great feelings for [Wizards owner] Ted [Leonsis], Tommy and [head coach] Scott [Brooks]. They’ve treated Brad wonderfully.”

There has been speculation that the Wizards might feel pressure to place Beal on the trade block if he turns down an extension offer, but Sheppard tells Wojnarowski that the team has no plans to go down that road. Sheppard, who said the Wizards would also be open to a shorter-term extension for Beal if he prefers it, added that he intends to sell the 26-year-old on the future of the reshaped organization now that he has been installed as the permanent GM.

[RELATED: Wizards officially announce front office changes]

Turning down an extension offer at this time wouldn’t necessarily mean that Beal isn’t interested in staying in D.C. long-term. He’d be eligible for a longer, more lucrative extension a year from now, particularly if he earns All-NBA honors next season — that would make him eligible for a five-year, super-max extension next offseason.

Even if Beal doesn’t make an All-NBA team and simply plays out his current contract, he’d be in a better position to maximize his long-term earnings as a free agent. Assuming the Wizards still have Beal on their roster by the 2021 offseason, they could offer him $217.5MM over five years at that time, based on the league’s latest cap projections.

While we’ll have to wait to find out what Beal is thinking, Wojnarowski’s story makes it clear the Wizards are serious about building around him. Sheppard indicated that the club wants to “surround him with guys he wants to play with,” while Woj reports that Leonsis traveled to Chicago to present the team’s new vision to Bartelstein.

Bradley Beal Withdraws From World Cup Consideration

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has become the latest Team USA star to withdraw from consideration for the 2019 World Cup, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Beal has a new baby on the way in late August or early September, which is when the World Cup is scheduled to take place.

Beal is the fifth player from Team USA’s initial 20-man training camp roster to remove his name from consideration for this year’s event. The squad’s backcourt has been hit particularly hard, with James Harden, CJ McCollum, Eric Gordon, and Beal all pulling out. Anthony Davis has also withdrawn.

Of course, Team USA is only permitted to carry 12 players on its eventual World Cup roster, so there are still more than enough names on the list of camp participants. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some Select Team invitees receive stronger consideration for the final roster — it’s possible USA Basketball will also sent out additional invites to other players.

Here are the 15 players from the initial 20-man list who are still expected to attend training camp next month and vie for the 12 spots on Team USA’s 2019 World Cup roster:

  1. Harrison Barnes, F (Kings)
  2. Andre Drummond, C (Pistons)
  3. Tobias Harris, F (Sixers)
  4. Kyle Kuzma, F (Lakers)
  5. Damian Lillard, G (Trail Blazers)
  6. Brook Lopez, C (Bucks)
  7. Kevin Love, F (Cavaliers)
  8. Kyle Lowry, G (Raptors)
  9. Khris Middleton, G/F (Bucks)
  10. Paul Millsap, F/C (Nuggets)
  11. Donovan Mitchell, G (Jazz)
  12. Jayson Tatum, F (Celtics)
  13. Myles Turner, C (Pacers)
  14. P.J. Tucker, F (Rockets)
  15. Kemba Walker, G (Celtics)