Washington Wizards

Extension with Wizards takes Bradley Beal off the trade market

Bradley Beal has signed a contract extension with the Washington Wizards, which takes him off the immediate trade market.

With the Washington Wizards looking to be a long way from being good again, guard Bradley Beal has surfaced prominently in trade rumors. But his profession of loyalty to the franchise has now been backed up, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Beal and the Wizards have agreed to  a two-year, $72 million contract extension.

Beal had two years left on his contract, so the new deal starts with the 2021-22 season and the second year is a player option. He is delaying hitting free agency by at least one year, but he’s securing significant guaranteed money for that year with the option for the next year. He’s giving the Wizards more time to build a better roster around him, but no so much time that they shouldn’t be trying to operate with some urgency.

Beal will hit 10 years of service time in 2022, which is an important benchmark if he decides not to exercise his option for 2022-23.

As Wojnarowski notes, Beal would then be eligible to sign what could be the largest contract in NBA history — eight years for $266 million. If he doesn’t exercise that option and decides to leave the Wizards, he could sign a four-year, $198 million deal with a new team in the summer of 2021. Those contract numbers are salary-cap dependent though, and the current situation in China may bring a drop in the cap down the road.

Next: The Step Back’s 2019-20 NBA season preview

Most importantly, Beal’s contract extension includes a 15 percent trade kicker and he is off the trade market for this season (as in, actually ineligible to be traded). But come next summer, even with that increased commitment from acquiring him, plenty of teams would be interested in a player of Beal’s caliber with two guaranteed years left on his contract. If the Wizards have another bad season, trading Beal would have to be under consideration.

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