Bradley Beal Explains Why He Hasn't Signed Wizards Max Contract Extension

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2021

Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal moves the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez

Bradley Beal doesn't want to rush to make a decision on the four-year, $181.5 million extension offer from the Washington Wizards.

The three-time All-Star discussed his plans on Posted Up with Chris Haynes:

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Posted Up w/ Haynes Pod: Wiz star Bradley Beal on re-signing w/ Jordan Brand &amp; numerous other topics. Why he hasn’t signed max extension?: “I’m not gonna make that grand commitment and it doesn’t work. Ultimately you have to be selfish at some point.”<br><br>🎧: <a href="https://t.co/Tfx91n0o3j">https://t.co/Tfx91n0o3j</a> <a href="https://t.co/4q56uFMgNr">pic.twitter.com/4q56uFMgNr</a>

"I got time, so I kinda hold the cards right now," Beal said. "And one, I’ve never been in this position. I’m kinda embracing that, being able to kinda dictate how I want my future to be and where I want it to be."

Beal has signed multiple short-term extensions to remain in Washington, but he can become a free agent after this season if he declines his $36.4 million player option.

"I've committed to being here twice," Beal said. "Now, I want to see that commitment to me as well, that we can create a winning team here, a winning environment."

Beal is off to a slow start by his standards in 2021-22, averaging 22.5 points per game while shooting just 43.7 percent from the field. The guard has averaged over 30 points per game in each of the last two seasons, ranking second in the NBA with 31.3 points per game in 2020-21.

Despite his production, the Wizards haven't had a winning record in any of the last three years. The team snuck into the playoffs at 34-38 last year but suffered a first-round loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The team is off to a better start this season with a 14-11 record, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, but there's a long way to go before clinching a postseason berth.

On the plus side, Washington has been aggressive to improve the roster in recent years. The team acquired another All-Star in Russell Westbrook in 2020 before flipping the point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The offseason addition of Spencer Dinwiddie has also paid dividends so far this season.

Staying in contention over the course of the season could be enough to convince Beal to make a long-term commitment to the organization.

Of course, there would be plenty of interest in the open market if the 28-year-old becomes available. If Beal decides to leave, he could pick a spot that puts him much closer to the first championship of his career.