NBA rumors: Bradley Beal 'positive' about moving forward with future in Washington

More on Bradley Beal Free Agency

Beal is seen as far more likely to become available than Leonard, but I still don’t see it as more than a 50-50 chance. Most executives polled by TrueHoop this week expect only about a 33 percent chance that Beal will be on the market this summer. Beal and the organization have said all the right things. But, the Wizards are bad. No one in DC expected the Cleveland Cavaliers to be ahead of them in the standings at this point. A COVID outbreak, inconsistent play from Russell Westbrook, and a devastating Thomas Bryant injury has derailed their season.
Several contenders are hoping Beal pulls an Anthony Davis and makes a trade demand well ahead of his 2022 free agency. If it came to that, the Wizards, led by GM Tommy Sheppard, would probably try to work with Beal to find a deal that works for both Beal and the Wizards. Here again, we see why teams were reluctant to make huge offers for Lonzo Ball or Kyle Lowry.
A round of phone calls with front office executives clarifies this tremendously: Teams didn’t offer their best assets now because Bradley Beal and Kawhi Leonard could be available this summer, and if you empty the cupboard now you’ll never be in position to get them then.
For the Wizards and Rockets, there's hope that the exchange of guards will play a role in convincing the two franchise shooting guards on each team, Washington's Bradley Beal and Houston's James Harden, to want to stay long-term with their teams. Harden has privately asked for a trade, and Beal could become a free agent in 2021.
The Wizards, at this point, have been given no reason to believe he wants to go elsewhere. And they likely won’t trade him unless they are given that indication. The Wizards, at this point, have been given no reason to believe he wants to go elsewhere. And they likely won’t trade him unless they are given that indication. What we know for sure is the Heat loves Beal and hopes to land him either before 2021 free agency or during. We also know that for whatever reason, Jimmy Butler followed Beal recently on social media.
David Aldridge: Wizards, moving on from Kevin Durant, will try and hammer out framework of new deal for Bradley Beal tonight. Max would run five years, $133M. Agreement on framework would allow Wizards to pursue other free agents with existing cap space, then officially re-sign Beal.
Marc Stein: Like David Aldridge says: All signs point to the Wizards being prepared to come to a verbal agreement with Bradley Beal on a five-year max and then the Wiz can go out and try to make a deal with an Al Horford or a Ryan Anderson or a Nic Batum before making Beal's deal official.
The Wizards went through the first step to retain Bradley Beal this offseason, making him a $14.2 million qualifying offer last night to keep him a restricted free agent so they can have the first right of refusal, league sources confirm to CSNmidatlantic.com. The expectation is that once the roster is retooled using their $30 million in cap room, the Wizards will then sign him to a max deal by exercising Beal's Bird rights which is an exception that allows the team to exceed the cap to retain its own free agent.
Dudley said since mega free agency is a low-percentage play, teams like the Wizards need to focus on drafting well, developing their young pieces and then trading assets for a star player. But he also said the Wizards have a good chance to land some type of star player in free agency; “not an all-star, but right underneath that,” he said. “And I think that they have another all-star on their team in Bradley Beal.”
Barring a drastic development, Beal won’t have to shop around. The Wizards are expected to offer Beal a five-year deal for the maximum amount allowed under the salary cap as soon as the free agent negotiating period kicks off on July 1, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Based on the $92 million salary cap projection teams are working with, a max contract would pay Beal $23 million next season because he could earn up to 25 percent of the cap amount as a four-year veteran.
Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo, a backup the entire regular season who is making $2.8 million for 2015-16, will surely opt out of his contract this summer and land a deal worth at least $16 million per year because of his breakout postseason, according to a league source. According to Hoopshype.com, Biyombo, a defensive and rebounding stalwart with a limited offensive skill set, is the 23rd-best potential free agent on the market this summer. Beal is ninth on that list, which includes players with contract options, such as all-stars LeBron James and Andre Drummond, who are not expected to test the market.
Beal’s age also increases his value. He will turn 23 on June 22, and NBA players typically peak between the ages of 26 and 28. He is the youngest player on HoopsHype’s list of the top 50 free agents by nearly a year, younger even than a few players who will be selected in next month’s NBA draft. Virginia point guard Malcolm Brogdon, for example, is more than seven months older than Beal. Furthermore, the free agent pool at shooting isn’t deep beyond Beal, DeMar DeRozan and Dwyane Wade.
The good news for the Wizards is that Beal has significant incentive to wait them out. If he's to sign a maximum contract with another team, he is only entitled to 4.5 percent raises on a four-year contract, taking the deal to a total of approximately four years, $91.7 million given current estimates (again, dependent on where the salary cap exactly falls, these figures are approximate). However, if he waits for the Wizards, the team can offer him 7.5 percent raises and a five-year contract worth approximately $123.5 million, including $95.6 million over the course of the first four seasons (note: as Beal's contract will expire in July, he is no longer subject to the designated player rule).
Beal reiterated he wants to stay in Washington in a telephone interview from Tokyo last week, but at the right price. That price is a maximum contract. “I want to be valued the right way. I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for. If Washington can’t meet that requirement then I may be thinking elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that they probably won’t [let me go]. At the end of the day, that’s where I want to be. I think a deal will probably get done but you just never know,” Beal, 22, said from Japan, where he visited as part of a promotional tour for the NBA and attended a playoff viewing party with fans.
Beal said he’ll begin his offseason workout regimen at the beginning of June and it will include more weight lifting than in previous summers. From there, his future isn’t as clear but he prefers a return to Washington. “I want to be” in Washington,” Beal said. “I do. It just comes down to July 1st. I want to think about it a little bit, but this has been home for me. It’s great to have our core back and a new coach. So things are changing. It’s just up to me and the front office to get it done.”
If Beal does return to the Wizards, he’ll have a new coach in Scott Brooks, who replaced Randy Wittman. Despite Beal’s contract status, the two met for lunch in Los Angeles recently. “It was a good move. In some ways he’s similar to Witt,” said Beal, who was not consulted during the coaching search. “He allows his players a lot of freedom on the offensive end but he’s a defensive-minded coach. I got to pick his mind a bit and he’s great. I got a great feel for him. He’s really a player’s coach. He loves to be hands-on. He loves to develop guys and get his guys better. On top of that, he’s a proven coach. He’s shown that he can win and he’s shown that he can get his players to the finals. That’s exciting. It’s great to be in a situation to have a coach with that experience. He’s been there before. We’ve been in the playoffs, too. So put those two together and hopefully we make something work.”
Washington has around $44.3 million committed to Wall, Gortat, Morris, Porter and Oubre next season, and has to keep just under $22 million available to start a potential max deal next year for Beal, a restricted free agent. (Both sides are hopeful to work out a new deal in July.) That works out to around $90 million for nine players. The salary cap is currently projected at around $92 million.
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."
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 67 more rumors
More HoopsHype Rumors
May 18, 2022 | 11:07 am EDT Update
“Luka has been a great player since he arrived at Real Madrid when he was 13 years old,” Laso said in the opening presser for the EuroLeague Final Four. “But he’s also been a great person since that day. That made him so big. When people talked about the NBA and how he’s going to play there, I didn’t have any doubts. No doubts that he’s going to play good. Because probably the best thing he has a person, and for sure as a player, is that he’s able to adjust in any situation. And that’s something that you have to have as a person. And Luka has it.”
A Mark Cuban and Lil Wayne feud is one of the main storylines of the NBA playoffs? That seems to be the case as the Mavs owner and famous rapper have exchanged NSFW blows with one another on social media. Cuban’s dog in the fight is that he is obviously the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. However, Lil Wayne was cheering for the Suns and is a friend of Chris Paul. Lil Wayne had previously called out Mavs star Luka Doncic during the Suns and Mavs series.
Cuban responded by referencing a lyric from one of Wayne’s albums after Dallas embarrassed Phoenix in Game 7. “It’s a sh*t show, put you front row.” Lil Wayne responded to Mark Cuban with a now deleted Tweet. However, the message read as follows: “Mark Cuban don’t make me get u smacked boy U playing w me?? I will piss in ya fkn mouth ho.”
May 18, 2022 | 10:54 am EDT Update
But even some of Spoelstra’s closest friends had never seen him like that, not just the emotional outburst in the huddle but the dark brooding he did for the rest of that quarter, almost stopping coaching as he managed the fury. For Butler, three seasons’ worth of give-and-take with Spoelstra finally led to finding the line. It wasn’t just that moment with Butler verbally shoving back at his coach; it was a long buildup. “Spo was exasperated,” one team source said.
Even Butler, who sometimes seems to actually enjoy creating conflict on his team, wondered whether this was a breaking point, sources said. Two days later, after Spoelstra missed a game because of an unrelated personal matter, he returned, reset and ready. Butler was relieved, so was the rest of the team, and everyone started over, because at the end of the day and the end of the season, Butler is worth it. What he brings, especially in a playoff setting, buys him more leeway. It’s the NBA way — always has been, and always will be. It’s a little tougher at times for the Heat, an organization that thrives on holding players to high standards and not being afraid to attack problems, but it’s true just the same.