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ESPN: Bradley Beal 'Very Likely' to Decline Option, Sign New 5-Year Wizards Contract

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 26, 2022

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Bradley Beal is reportedly staying right where he's at.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Beal is "very likely" to opt out of his $36.4 million player option for next season and re-sign with the Wizards on a five-year maximum contract. A max deal for Beal is estimated to be around $248 million, though the final figure will be determined once the NBA sets the salary cap for the 2022-23 campaign.

As a 10-year veteran, Beal is eligible to earn 35 percent of the cap as his starting salary. The current cap projections would have him starting out at $42.7 million next season.

One of the most regular fixtures in trade rumors over the last few seasons, Beal has chosen to remain in Washington every step of the way. He's coming off a largely miserable 2021-22 campaign, missing 42 games because of injury and failing to maintain his 30-point scoring average of the previous two seasons.

Beal told Josh Robbins of The Athletic that he's already made up his mind about his future but would not reveal his decision. He previously hinted at the fact that he was leaning toward re-signing in Washington.

The Wizards have not gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since 2017; Beal has never gone past the second round in his NBA career.

While Washington missed the postseason for the third time in four years last season, there is hope for a bounce back in 2022-23. The Wizards' midseason trade for Kristaps Porzingis was an inspired buy-low chance, and the team drafted promising young guard Johnny Davis in first round.

Couple that with solid veterans like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma, and there's a team hovering in the playoff range to be found.

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