Report: Wizards not extending Bradley Beal

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Bradley Beal‘s contract-extension negotiations with the Wizards were going nowhere. Then they were going nowhere. And then they were going nowhere.

Unsurprisingly, they’ll end up nowhere.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

This is probably related more to salary-cap logistics than Washington lacking a desire to pay Beal major money.

Without an extension, Beal’s cap number will be $14,236,685 next summer until he’s renounced or signed. So, the Wizards can use their cap space on free agent – ahem, Kevin Durant – and then exceed the cap to re-sign Beal.

If he’d signed an extension, Beal’s cap number would have been his starting salary. The max projects to be $20,947,250, and that’s about what Beal deserves.

Plus, Washington can give Beal a five-year contract as a free agent. Because John Wall is already the team’s designated player, a Beal extension would’ve been limited to four seasons.

There’s always risk this plan goes awry for either side.

Beal could get hurt and get even less than whatever the Wizards were offering now. But assuming their offer was prudent for them, that’s far less than Beal deserves. This is the right time to roll the dice, especially with so many teams having max-level cap room.

Beal could also look to leave Washington sooner. But he’ll be a restricted free agent, limiting the Wizards’ exposure. He can’t sign an offer sheet for fewer than two years before options – three if Washington extends a maximum qualifying offer, though that could immediately raise his cap number. Beal could accept the qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, but that’d mean taking $7,471,412 over what could be a $120 million offer. That’s a huge risk, far bigger than this one.

It never made enough sense for the Wizards to extend Beal at a price he’d accept. But it’s still likely he remains in Washington long term.