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Bradley Beal Declines $36.4M Wizards Contract Option, Becomes Free Agent

Doric SamJune 29, 2022

Elsa/Getty Images

Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is set to hit the open market when free agency begins Thursday.

Beal's agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the shooting guard has declined his $36.4 million player option. By declining the option, Beal is now eligible to sign a four-year deal with any other team in the NBA or re-sign with the Wizards on a five-year max contract.

While Beal would be the most sought-after player in free agency, the likelihood is that he returns to Washington. Wojnarowski reported earlier Wednesday that Beal is "very likely" to re-sign with the Wizards on a max deal that would pay him an estimated $248 million.

Beal has been a coveted player by teams around the league for quite some time now, but he's maintained his commitment to Washington. He's been the face of the Wizards for years, and he signed a two-year, $72 million contract extension in October 2019. He emerged as the team's go-to scorer that year with an average of 30.5 points per game while his former teammate John Wall was out with injuries.

Beal followed that up by averaging a career-high 31.3 points across 60 games in the 2020-21 season. However, the three-time All-Star struggles last year amid a nagging wrist injury that eventually required surgery. Beal was limited to just 40 games and shot a career-low 30 percent from beyond the arc.

The Wizards went 35-47 last season and missed the playoffs for the third time in four years. Beal has yet to make it out of the second round in his 10-year career, but some improvements to Washington's roster could change that.

In last week's NBA draft, the Wizards landed promising combo guard Johnny Davis. Washington also acquired Will Barton and Monte Morris from the Nuggets, according to Wojnarowski.

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