Bradley Beal 'Definitely' Open to Wizards Contract Extension Amid Trade Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2019

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Washington Wizards are reportedly not interested in trading star guard Bradley Beal and instead want to sign him to a three-year, $111 million extension in July, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beal has expressed openness to signing such an extension, though he hasn't made up his mind yet, per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post:

"I have thought about it, but I haven't really full-out processed it. I still have two years left. We just drafted Rui [Hachimura], and I want to see what we do in free agency before I make the ultimate decision. I haven't even been offered it officially. Until that happens, I'll wait and think about it. I'll have an ample amount of time to process everything and make a decision when the time is right.

"I'd be naive to say I wouldn't be [interested in extension talks]. Washington is where I've been the last seven years, going on eight. It would be great to play in one place forever. But at the same time, you want to win and make sure you're in a position to do so. I'm definitely going to evaluate who we hire as the GM and who we pick up on the team. All that plays a factor."

Golliver added: "While his name surfaced in trade rumors following John Wall's season-ending Achilles' injury in February, Beal said that [Wizards owner Ted] Leonsis, [senior vice president Tommy] Sheppard and coach Scott Brooks have each independently told him in recent weeks that he would not be moved."

Beal then spoke about the importance of their transparency entering the offseason: "They've been very transparent, and that's been great. They're not keeping me in the dark about anything, even about the trade rumors. ... It's great having that peace of mind."

The Wizards remain in an interesting position. On one hand, Wall will spend a portion of the 2019-20 season sidelined with an Achilles injury, and he appeared to regress even before suffering the injury last season. There are legitimate questions about whether he'll have the same explosiveness after the injury as well, and the Wizards don't appear to have a strong enough roster to make a postseason run behind only Beal.

Trading Wall would be very difficult, if not impossible, given that he's due $170 million over the next four seasons, a huge number most teams wouldn't want to absorb. If the Wizards decided to field offers for Beal and undergo a full rebuild, it wouldn't come as a major surprise.

On the other hand, Beal is only 25 years old, has emerged as one of the best shooting guards in the NBA and is under contract for two more years at a total of $55.7 million, a relative bargain given his productivity. Beal averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists and five rebounds per game last season, shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from three.

He's the sort of player teams try to find when they're rebuilding, so trading him now would be painful.

But as Beal hinted at in his comments, he also has his future to consider. He's in his prime years, and if he feels the Wizards can't build a contender around him, seeking a trade—or at the very least, not signing an extension in Washington—would be a logical move.

If the Wizards ever decided to move him, countless teams would have interest. Washington could demand a small fortune in negotiations, especially considering Beal remains under contract for two more years.

For the time being, it appears he isn't going anywhere. But if Beal declines to sign the extension that Washington will reportedly offer him—whether because he wants to hold out for a supermax contract or simply decides he doesn't have a future in Washington—teams around the NBA will take notice.