The first couple weeks of NBA free agency are a frenzy — meetings, phone calls, texts and the occasional agreement or trade has NBA GMs a big overwhelmed at times.
But now that the pace of things is slowing down, the Washington Wizards can focus on one of their top priorities — keeping Bradley Beal.
Washington and Beal are going to start talking about an extension to his rookie deal, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
Contacted early Sunday, agent Mark Bartelstein said actual negotiations with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will go forward as early as this upcoming week. “We had to get past that first nine or 10 days of free agency. With that chaotic period over, Ernie and I will talk and see where we are,” Bartelstein told CSN.
Beal is going into the final year of his rookie scale contract that pays him $4.7 million for 2015-16. The sides have until the start of the season to work out a deal and if they don’t talks will be tabled until next summer when Beal becomes a restricted free agent.
Beal had an inconsistent season where averaged 15.3 points a game shooting 40.9 percent from three, plus he head injuries including a stress reaction in his right leg for the third year in a row. All that might have the Wizards hesitant to hand over a lot of cash to Beal. On the flip side, he led the team with 23.4 points a game in the playoffs.
The Wizards would like to get Beal locked up now on this year’s salary cap, even if they overpay a little the deal will not look bad when the cap spikes by $40 million over the next two years. The only reason not to is to keep flexibility to chase hometown guy Kevin Durant a year from now (something considered a bit of a longshot around the league).
If Beal is a restricted free agent next year when every team has cap space to burn, he could get a larger offer. For Beal, he probably would like the financial security considering his injury history.
The question is can they agree upon a number. We shall see.