However, Wizards fans shouldn’t expect Beal to sign the extension since he can earn $50 million more if he waits.
Bradley Beal on extension: I’m not in a rush
At Wizards Media Day, Beal said he’s not in a rush to sign an extension with the Wizards. The All-Star guard wants to see how the team performs in 2021-22.
“My biggest thing is getting us off going to a good start,” Beal said. “We worry about the contract money and all that later. I’ll let them deal with it when the time comes, for sure. I got all year to sign, too. So I’m not in a rush.”
Beal signed a two-year, $72 million extension with the Wizards in October 2019. Not only is he making the wise decision to see how the team plays before committing more years to them, but he’s also potentially setting himself up for a bigger payday.
Bradley Beal could earn $50 million more if he waits and chooses to become a free agent in 2022
Beal could stand to earn roughly $50 million more if he waits and chooses to become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. The Florida product will have reached 10 years of service in the NBA and be eligible for a contract worth 35% of the salary cap.
In 60 games for the Wizards in 2020-21, Beal averaged 31.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while shooting 48.5% from the field, 34.9% from beyond the arc, and 88.9% from the free-throw line. He made his first All-NBA team and guided Washington to 34 wins with the help of Russell Westbrook.
The Wizards traded Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason. They acquired Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from the Lakers and Spencer Dinwiddie from the Brooklyn Nets. Beal, who has never reached the conference finals, will try and lead Washington to the playoffs with his new teammates, but it won’t be easy since the Eastern Conference will be tough in 2021-22.
Wizards will probably be a play-in team
The top six teams in the East qualify for the playoffs and don’t have to participate in the play-in tournament. Last season, the Wizards lost to the Boston Celtics but defeated the Indiana Pacers in the play-in to clinch the eighth in the East.
Don’t be surprised if Beal and Co. are once again playing in the play-in tournament. The Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Celtics, and Chicago Bulls are better than the Wizards. The Philadelphia 76ers, who were the No. 1 seed in the East last season, could struggle in 2021-22 depending on what they get in return for Ben Simmons, who has requested a trade.
It will be fascinating to see what Beal does in terms of his contract status with the Wizards. Rival teams will certainly be monitoring the situation since Beal is one of the most coveted stars on the trade market.