Free agency opens at midnight, and some of the big names will take a little time before agreeing to contracts. One deal that might get done very quickly after 12:01: an extension between the Wizards and Bradley Beal. According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, the Wizards are going to work on locking up Beal (who is a restricted free agent) to a five-year max deal as soon as they’re legally allowed to, then focus on getting other deals done.
Beal’s qualifying offer is around $7.4 million, and that will serve as his cap hold until the deal is official, which can’t happen until July 6. In the meantime, the Wizards will be able to get commitments from other free agents, and then sign the deals in an order that allows Beal to get his money after they’ve made other moves. It’s similar to what the Spurs did with Kawhi Leonard last summer, and what the Pistons are expected to do with Andre Drummond in the coming days.
If Beal is healthy, he’s worth a max, and he was always going to get it from somebody. It’s better for the Wizards to get it out of the way now rather than let him test the market.