Bradley Beal Re-Signs with Wizards: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) reacts as he jogs to the other end of the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Bradley Beal's partnership with the Washington Wizards will continue after agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed a five-year, $128-plus million deal to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on July 1.

The Wizards showed Beal officially signing his deal on Tuesday:

Beal was among the best second-tier free agents, sitting outside of the class that featured Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Hassan Whiteside. He's a sharpshooter with great range who was one of the few bright spots for the Wizards last season. 

The 23-year-old shot a career-high 44.9 percent from the field, including 38.7 percent from behind the three-point line. He also averaged a career-best 17.4 points per game, though there are reasons to expect he can improve in the future. 

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com noted there are aspects of Beal's game that he has shown but not fully explored yet:

Has higher offensive upside than has been realized. Still coming off his rookie deal. Special player who can finish inside, hit from anywhere and has potential as a perimeter defender. Could wind up a top-five shooting guard in his career. Undeniable injury concerns that should give any team pause.

The key point Moore mentions is injuries. Beal has never been a stable presence in Washington's lineup, appearing in at least 70 games just once in four seasons. The Wizards took to using him off the bench in 20 of the 55 games he appeared in last season to limit his minutes.

Beal has even acknowledged that it will be important to monitor his playing time in the future after he played a career-low 31.1 minutes per game in 2015-16.

"It [my body] doesn't want to listen to me, so I got to as much as I can take care of it, be smart about it moving forward through the rest of my career," he said, per J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com (h/t Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports). "That's probably something that's going to happen every year." 

No one knows Beal better than the Wizards, who have to feel confident in his ability to continue playing at a high level as he moves into his late 20s.

Things did not work out well for the Wizards last season, as they finished with a 41-41 record after back-to-back playoff appearances the previous two years. They do have an outstanding young duo in Beal and point guard John Wall to build around.

It's understandable if Beal and Wall, along with Otto Porter, have Washington thinking a return trip to the postseason is not far off.

The Wizards still have work to do if they want to be among the Eastern Conference's elite—a category that currently includes only the Cleveland Cavaliers—but keeping Beal leaves them on the right track.

Related

    Klay: Warriors' Motivation to 3-Peat Is for Oakland

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Klay: Warriors' Motivation to 3-Peat Is for Oakland

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Rivers Feels Wizards, and Pacers, Are as Good as Celtics and 76ers

    Washington Wizards logo
    Washington Wizards

    Rivers Feels Wizards, and Pacers, Are as Good as Celtics and 76ers

    Yahoo
    via Yahoo

    Top 5 Fantasy Players for the Wizards

    Washington Wizards logo
    Washington Wizards

    Top 5 Fantasy Players for the Wizards

    Wiz of Awes
    via Wiz of Awes

    3 Bold Predictions for Wizards This Season

    Washington Wizards logo
    Washington Wizards

    3 Bold Predictions for Wizards This Season

    Hoops Habit
    via Hoops Habit