Five years, $242 million to stay in Washington or four years, $179 million to leave. Bradley Beal faces a big decision this summer should the Wizards offer him the expected supermax deal or he decides to test free agency.
Either way, Beal is likely to get paid before game 1 of the 2022-23 season. Washington has been his home for the entirety of his 10-year career to date, but the 28-year-old shooting guard could also elect for a change of scenery while still in his prime. It's up to him given his player option for the final year of his current contract.
“I always had one of my OGs Drew Gooden, he always told me -- he’s like my mentor -- he would say, ‘Brad, these are good problems,’” Beal said in an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report. “When I look at it like that, you can’t necessarily make a wrong decision. It’s a matter of what you want to do with you, your career.”
Beal’s 2021-22 season was cut short after a wrist injury sidelined him and required surgery back in February. To that point in the year, his numbers had dipped from his previous two seasons in which he averaged at least 30 points in both campaigns.
Wizards’ general manager Tommy Sheppard spoke confidently back in April about his optimism that Beal would re-sign with Washington. A month earlier, Beal himself said it was fair to assume he was leaning toward re-signing in D.C. Obviously, dozens of factors will make an impact on what could potentially be the biggest decision he’ll make in his career.
“Obviously I consider my family,” Beal said. “What do they want to do? Where do they want to live? What are they comfortable with? And obviously the team, for me. It is surreal in a lot of ways to be in the position I’m in. It is crazy numbers, it is what it is, it’s uncontrollable…but I’m blessed to be here.”
Beal has emerged as the clear-cut star in Washington over the last few seasons, taking on the brunt of the scoring and shot creation as the Wizards’ No. 1 option. Even with the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis, and the Wizards’ upcoming draft pick around, Beal (should he still be donning Wizards’ threads) will shoulder the workload of an All-Star caliber scorer.
Though Beal has enjoyed personal success as a Wizard, having been named an All-Star three times and all-NBA third team in 2021, Washington has only made the playoffs in half of his years in Washington. After failing to make the postseason last year, winning is at the crux of Beal’s contract decision.
“I know what my decision will be based off of, and that’s gonna be where I feel like I can win,” Beal told Rooks. “That’s gonna be my decision. If I feel like I can win in D.C., that’s what I’m gonna do, and I want people to respect that. You may, you may not, but I’m gonna fight my ass off. I’m gonna compete and I’m gonna try to make this team better. If it’s elsewhere, it’s gonna be the exact same commitment.”
Rumors have swirled constantly this offseason about where Beal might go, which teams have made offers, and where his best fit would be. Still, both Beal and the Wizards have indicated they plan on him returning to Washington, even though a lot can change during the summer months.
In the end, though, it’s Beal’s decision to make.
“For the most part, I’m gonna do what’s best for me,” Beal said. “I can’t concern myself with what other people will say, even though it may look as simplified as people project it to be.”