Amin Elhassan, a former front-office executive for the Phoenix Suns and currently a front-office insider for ESPN, spoke to D.C.’s ESPN 980 AM about Beal on Thursday. He was asked if Beal is/will be a max player when free agency opens July 1: “That question is going to be so irrelevant July 1 because there are 20-plus teams that are going to have max space, 20-plus million dollars. It doesn’t matter if you say, ‘Well, I don’t think so.’ You wait long enough. I was talking to a front office executive from a team about a week ago and I said, ‘Oh I can’t wait for July 16.’ He said, ‘What do you mean July 16?’ I said, ‘We know all the good deals will be done in the first couple weeks but July 16 that’s when the lights come on in the club and you’re looking for anything to go home with. These teams are going to be throwing money at whoever has a pulse. Even if you don’t think Bradley Beal is a max deal player, give it a week. I guarantee you he’ll be a max player somewhere.”
Amin Elhassan: "I lived it. We had Amar'e Stoudemire in Phoenix. He had great years here, all-NBA years here, All-Star years next to Steve Nash. We offered a $100 million deal that was partially guaranteed. When I say partially I mean about 75 percent guaranteed. It was a good deal and a smart deal on our part because he had a medical history and what happened? The Knicks said, "We'll give you all 100 (million). One-hundred percent guaranteed. And Amar'e left. After the fact he said, 'I really really wanted to stay but I'm not going to pass up guaranteed money.' I think the same thing will happen if you play around with Bradley Beal. ... Someone out there does not care. Someone out there will pay him that money."
Then there's that Gainesville connection again. The Wizards will pursue Durant, and though the idea is to sign both Durant and guard Bradley Beal, very little has gone right in Washington this year and that could lead to an utter tear-down. Beal is a restricted free agent and spent a year in Florida, so Washington could match offers to keep him, but his injury history is frightening — perhaps even for the Wizards themselves. Still, his talent could make him worth a gamble for a team like Orlando.
Teams with an eye on Beal, a restricted free agent this summer, have expressed caution. “He’s one of the best pure shooters in the league,” a general manager told The Vertical, “but I’m scared of him.”
The setback comes six weeks after he and the Wizards agreed to table contract discussions until next summer, when he becomes a restricted free agent. Washington offered Beal a contract extension before the Nov. 3 midnight deadline for first-round picks on the final years of their rookie deals, but Beal sought a maximum contract, which would have paid him a projected $20.9 million over four seasons. The Wizards, however, want as much salary cap space as possible and not signing Beal to the extension gives them nearly $7 million more to sign free agents because his cap hold will be $14 million instead of $20.9 million. As a result, they elected to wait to give Beal max money. Though Beal’s recurring injuries are a concern, he is expected to still attract a max contract given his skill set, age, and influx of television money that will infiltrate the free agent market.
“I’m still going to come back from this,” Beal said. “I’m not going to let this just keep me down or worry me too much. I’m still confident in who I am and the type of player I am. And the GM and the rest of the organization knows what I’m capable of doing, too. So hopefully they won’t use this against me come next summer.”
This is part of the reason why the Wizards have hesitated to commit to Beal long-term with a four-year max extension. If it's fully guaranteed and his injuries get worse, there'd be no out. At the very least, they needed an early-termination clause. Financially speaking, the Wizards were wise to wait because they'd have fewer dollars available under the salary cap in 2016 by signing Beal to an extension last month. Even if they eventually opt to max him, by waiting there would be more money allotted because they could exercise Bird rights to retain their own free agent after filling all of the other holes on the roster that could be as many as seven. Bookkeeping-wise, the Wizards had to wait because it was the smart thing to do regardless of Saturday's news.
"This is where I want to be. I'm not looking at any other teams. I'm not looking to go anywhere else. I believe in this team we have in this locker room. I'm a big cornerstone of this team, so I'm here. I want to be here. Hopefully, the front office knows that. I'm pretty sure that they know that," Bradley Beal told Yahoo Sports.
"It's a business at the end of the day. I can't let that affect the way I play, nor will I ever let it. It's money at the end of the day. And I just want to go out here and play my butt off, each and every night and get what I deserve. Earn every penny that I get. If that's the max, then it's the max. And if it's not, it's not. At least I can look at it and say I gave it my all," Bradley Beal told Yahoo Sports.
"That's the goal. Obviously, that's the goal," Beal told Yahoo. "I trust what they're doing. I understand what they're doing. I have no [anger] toward [team president] Ernie [Grunfeld] or anyone else in the organization. I know at the end of the day, this is where I'm going to be and hopefully that I continue to be here. I don't even worry about it. I'm worried about this season and controlling what I can control. I'm not in there arguing back and forth with Ernie like, 'I need this!' I'm just out here playing and doing what I do and letting my game speak for itself."
Thusly, Beal will become a restricted free agent in July. “Bradley is a huge part of what we’re trying to do here,” Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld said. “We see him as a key piece to our future and we’ll resume negotiations next summer.”
Jorge Castillo: The Wizards, btw, did make Beal an offer. But it wasn't for the max and that's what Beal wants. And if you don't think Beal will get the max next summer go take a look at the contracts signed over the summer. The money is out there.
David Aldridge: Wizards, per sources, won’t extend @Bradley Beal before deadline. Still hope to sign impact FA in July, then re-sign Beal, who’ll be RFA.
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.
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).