Probably the most interesting case when it comes to the Monday deadline is that of Wizards guard Bradley Beal. A person with knowledge of the situation told Sporting News that the Wizards fully intend to keep Beal and lock him up with a max contract — despite Beal’s troubles staying healthy — but they want to wait until next summer.
The reason is obvious: Washington will be among the teams trying to lure Kevin Durant from the Thunder. Durant grew up in the D.C. metro area and, should he be willing to leave Oklahoma City — still a very open question — the Wizards would be considered a favorite to sign him. They could do so if they order the contracts the way the Spurs did with Aldridge and Leonard, with Durant first signing, then with Beal’s contract coming after.
Monday is the deadline for teams to sign players entering their fourth year to long-term contract extensions, and it appears that the situation of Washington’s Bradley Beal will go down to the final moments. Signing him to an extension seemed a certainty, but there has been no deal. Detroit’s Andre Drummond is also a candidate for an extension.
The Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal is another obvious extension candidate, but it's believed the Wizards hope to convince Beal to hold off on a new deal until next summer -- much like the San Antonio Spurs did last season with star swingman Kawhi Leonard -- because the delay could lead to Washington having nearly $10 million in additional salary-cap space in the summer of 2016 when it intends to make a run at D.C. native Kevin Durant in free agency.
Over his first three professional seasons, Bradley Beal has exhibited enough flashes of his potential to excite fans and assure the Washington Wizards that he is a foundation piece for their future. It is why Beal will almost certainly sign with the franchise long-term by next summer, though he likely won’t sign a four-year extension by the Halloween deadline because he wants the max and the Wizards have offered him less than that, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, because they want maximum salary-cap flexibility for free agents in July.
Training camp is rapidly approaching, but the Washington Wizards‘ off-season activity may not be complete because Bradley Beal’s contract situation remains unanswered. The negotiating period for a contract extension, which would kick in for the 2016-17 season, opened July 1 and closes on Halloween, the day of the Wizards’ home opener against the New York Knicks. So, there’s time. Both sides have maintained dialogue throughout the summer but there’s no rush and substantial progress hasn’t been made, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. That’s not unusual – deadlines usually spur activity. But, in this case, bypassing the negotiation window without an agreement could be the right move for both sides.
The situations aren't the same, of course. While talks remain open, CSNmidatlantic.com was told, there hasn't been any movement. Beal, who believes he's worth a max deal, just returned from Taiwan and president Ernie Grunfeld had been on vacation.
Bradley Beal wants a maximum contract extension, but the Washington Wizards reportedly won't give him one. They plan to make him play out the 2015-16 season then hit restricted free agency, according to CSN Washington's J. Michael Falgoust: "Bradley Beal has made it clear he thinks he's a max player and that's what he wants. I've talked to people on both sides all offseason about this. It seems to be Bradley Beal's decision. The Wizards are willing to make him an offer, an extension, but they're not going to offer him the maximum extension right now simply because they don't have to.
Word is the Wizards and Beal have been talking extension all summer and while a deal has not been finalized, there is a sense that both sides will agree to something before the October 31st deadline. There was talk of a deal in the max range, but given the deals that have gotten done, namely Lillard’s $120 million deal, the bar on absolute max might be a little too high to get a deal done without a trip through restricted free agency.
The Wizards and Bradley Beal don't appear to be any closer to reaching terms on an extension -- the window is open until the start of the 2015-16 regular season -- with both sides downplaying to CSNwashington.com during the past few weeks about the progress of talks.
Now that the most of the heavy-lifting has been dealt with in free agency, the Wizards will begin serious talks with Bradley Beal regarding a contract extension, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with two people with knowledge of the situation.
Contacted early Sunday, agent Mark Bartelstein said actual negotiations with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will go forward as early as this upcoming week. "We had to get past that first nine or 10 days of free agency. With that chaotic period over, Ernie and I will talk and see where we are," Bartelstein told CSN.
Whenever it happens, Beal believes he is worth the maximum. “I would say, yeah. I’m not going to sell myself short,” Beal said Thursday in a telephone interview from his home town of St. Louis, where he was hosting a youth basketball camp. “I feel like I am. But it is what it is. If I get offered, I get offered. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m just going to continue to be the player I am and not let money really have any effect on me like that.”
Once the free-agent madness that kicks off today simmers down, the Wizards will have a week to figure out what to do regarding Bradley Beal who is eligible for an extension going into the last year of his rookie contract. "We have all the way to October to get something done on that front," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld told CSNwashington recently. "We'll talk to his agent (Mark Bartelstein) at the appropriate time and see where that process takes us. Obviously, we think very highly of Bradley and we want him here for a very long time."
All indications suggest that the Wizards aren't inclined to offer a max contract to a shooting guard who averages 15 points and has trouble consistently manufacturing offense from the free-throw line. Beal's representatives will point to what he can be when he's fully healthy:
June 28, 2022 | 1:39 pm EDT Update
James Plowright: Kupchak on why Clifford was chosen “Early on in the process we leaned towards candidates with experience… We knew defensively we needed to wrap it up a little bit… Some other “Areas” that need to be improved. Clifford brought us a long way in his 4 years”
Rod Boone: Steve Clifford said he expects to play the same kind of uptempo offensive style the #Hornets have used the past two seasons. He also knows expectations are much greater than they were previously and he’s fine with that. “The NBA is all about winning in the playoffs. That’s it.” pic.twitter.com/ekKRRGJYmk
June 28, 2022 | 1:14 pm EDT Update
Per LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk, the only player San Antonio actually wants from Atlanta is Onyeka Okongwu. Also, despite BR’s Jake Fischer reporting that the Spurs are looking for three first-rounders in a possible deal for Murray, that’s also false. Ellis notes Gregg Popovich’s squad would take no less than four unprotected first-round picks. There’s talk that the Spurs are looking to trade Murray for three first round draft picks. I’m told that is incorrect. San Antonio’s asking price for Murray is four first round draft picks with little to no protections. Alternatively, the Spurs want three minimally protected first rounders and two unprotected first round pick swaps.
Interestingly, an insider close to the situation says that the Spurs have multiple teams making a strong push for Murray besides the Hawks. One Eastern Conference team, he says, is offering three first round draft picks and a desirable young player in a proposed swap. He also stated that the Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed serious interest in Murray.
Because he was voted third-team All-NBA this season, Towns is eligible for an extension of up to four years and roughly $211 million. “I can’t wait to sit down with him and his representation ASAP and keep this thing going,” Connelly told The Athletic in a conversation not long after he was hired away from the Denver Nuggets. “He’s special and deserves everything that is going to come his way.”
“I think our goal is to win enough games to put KAT’s jersey in the rafters,” Connelly said. “He’s a guy that’s been through so much, and he’s only getting better and better. We’re going to go as far as he takes us.” With contracts this big, the only question that remains is how much more Towns has to give. Over his career, he has averaged 23.2 points and 11.3 rebounds and has a .624 true shooting percentage. But the Wolves have only made the playoffs twice in his seven seasons, and his performance against Memphis in April had highs (29 points, 13 rebounds in Game 1, 33 points, 14 boards in Game 4) and lows (eight points on four shots in Game 3, 15 points on seven shots in Game 2).