Will Bradley Beal Open the Season with the Wizards?
The Washington Wizards plan to offer Bradley Beal a three-year $111 million dollar extension on Friday. Once offered, he’d have until October 21st to sign. Talks have been swirling that Beal could be dealt sometime during the offseason. A few weeks ago, the team stated they had no intentions of moving Beal. However, now it’s more likely if there’s a team willing to take on the massive contract of John Wall.
Where will Beal be come October?
Should Beal be in Washington when the season starts? The right answer is no. However, there is a 99.9% chance he opens the season in the Nations Capital. The Wizards’ title window has closed. With Wall expected to miss all of this upcoming season and after missing the playoffs in what was a weaker East this past season, it’s time to start over.
The Wizards have already gotten rid of Otto Porter, Dwight Howard, and Tomas Satoransky. The team did sign Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. Thomas is looking to regain his 2016 form and, if he can do so, would be a solid add for the Wizards. On a one-year deal, Thomas and Beal would form a solid duo that could have the Wizards in playoff contention.
Embrace the Rebuild
The Wizards have been to the playoffs four of the past six seasons. However, they have never made it past the second round. Trading away Beal and Wall would allow the team to gather assets and tool for the future, similar to how Oklahoma City has done in gaining a plethora of assets in return for Paul George and Russell Westbrook.
Beal is still just 26 and is coming off a career-best season where he averaged 25.6 points per game along with 5.5 assists on 47.5 percent shooting. Furthermore, the two-time All-Star has also started all 82 games the past two seasons. A player of that caliber would certainly net the Wizards with assets to help aid their rebuild.
Where would Beal go?
The Miami Heat have shown the most interest in acquiring the former Florida Gator. Wall currently has four years and $171 million remaining on his deal and if someone takes that on, they could possibly have Beal. Now that the Heat struck out on Westbrook as the Houston Rockets beat them to the punch, acquiring Beal would give the Heat the duo of Jimmy Butler and Beal which would put them in championship contention.
Other places that could be a good fit are teams like the Boston Celtics who have young players and draft picks plus can team Beal with Kemba Walker. The Detroit Pistons could form a big three by adding Beal to Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Also, a team like the Denver Nuggets, who have an abundance of talent, could add Beal to cement their status as a team to beat in the West.
The ball is in the Wizards’ court here. They have no reason to rush into something that won’t benefit them. If they don’t receive a good offer now, they can either wait until the trade deadline where they could ship Beal to a contending team or just wait until next off-season. If Beal rejects the contract extension, he is still under contract for two more years.
Furthermore, if Beal makes an All-NBA team, he is eligible for a five-year $264 million supermax extension. If the Wizards are to send away their All-Star back court duo, they must maximize the value for both. Acquiring young players and picks that they can team with Rui Hachimura, who impressed during the summer league, as well as Troy Brown Jr. will be key. Expect Beal to turn down the offer, but he will be playing his home games at Verizon Center for at least half of this season and have the Wizards competing for the eight seed.