Bradley Beal may have been born in St. Louis, but he’s learned to call another place home. For the last ten years, Beal has spent his career in Washington playing for the Washington Wizards. Despite rumblings that Beal could leave, it appears that the veteran is staying where his career all began.
Bradley Beal Is Staying Home
What Does It Mean For Beal?
Money. Lots of money, as Beal is expected to sign a five-year, $251-million dollar max extension. The Wizards star still has yet to officially sign, but it’s expected to be finalized in the coming days.
For Beal, it also means he gets to spend season number 11 with the only franchise he’s ever known. Beal has spent 10 years in Washington, drafted 3rd overall in 2012. He also gets to solidify his name in the Wizards record books, as he’s the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers made. The St. Louis native also ranks second in points scored in franchise history, only trailing Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes.
Plus, Beal just being on the roster almost guarantees that Washington will try to compete. With star Kristaps Porzingis and three years left on his max contract still on the books, Washington couldn’t have begun to start over with him still on the roster. Porzingis likely won’t be traded at this point either, so pushing forward towards competency was the only option regardless of Beal’s decision.
As an added bonus, Porzingis and Beal didn’t get to play with each other last season, so Washington will be able to see the full potential of that pairing. While that’s great and having Beal on the roster is a massive boost, it doesn’t give the team much wiggle room. Now with two max slots filled up, the Wizards will have to get creative if they really want to make some noise next season.
What Does It Mean For Washington?
The Wizards will likely have to bank mostly on internal development to improve next season, but that has a real shot of happening. The franchise drafted Wisconsin star Johnny Davis with the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, who should contribute right away next season. The Wizards also already have plenty of young pieces on the roster. Kyle Kuzma showed promise in a bigger role, and Deni Avdija took a step forward last season as well.
The major concern here though is health. Beal only played 40 games last season with a broken left wrist, and Porzingis only suited up in 17. Rui Hachimura was out for half the season, and Thomas Bryant only just returned from a major injury. The Wizards are likely committing $251 million dollars to a guy who will be on the wrong side of 30 in two years, but it’s a commitment they had to make. In order to secure their homegrown star, anything less than the max would have been unacceptable.
What About the Rest of the NBA?
The rest of the NBA should feel conflicted about seeing Beal re-sign to the Wizards. On one hand, small-market teams should be thrilled to see another small-market team sign a max player. On the other hand, teams looking for one last piece just lost one more way to improve their team.
Teams like the Miami Heat, L.A. Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers were rumored to be interested. Now, none of those teams will have a chance to sign Beal. Beal’s re-signing will also only intensify the competition for the remaining top free agents. The competition will be especially rampant at shooting guard, Beal’s preferred position.
With the max-money commitment to Bradley Beal, it should be great news for Washington fans. Washington will try to compete in what’s quickly becoming a stacked Eastern Conference. Wizards fans shouldn’t worry about how successful the Wizards are this season, and should instead take solace in the fact that Washington will have a competitive basketball team next season.