The Washington Wizards are in a bit of a pickle. The Eastern Conference is more open now that Kawhi Leonard is on the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Wiz aren’t in a position to take advantage.
John Wall, whose contract was already an albatross, is now injured and will miss significant time (if not all of) next season. They don’t have elite talent left on the roster outside of Bradley Beal, who is weighing his options. Beal can stay and sign a max extension with Washington, or leave in free agency in the summer of 2021.
The Wizards offering Beal an extension is perfunctory, and now they’ve gone ahead and sent Beal that offer.
Beal can sign a supermax extension if he hits some important milestones, so there’s no reason for him to sign this smaller extension now. But Washington has to make the offer in good faith, and to back up the talk they’ve had about wanting to keep Beal.
The Wizards should want Beal, but the supermax money hasn’t been enough to keep guys in one place all that often in the NBA. Even if Ted Leonsis can change the culture and turn things around in D.C., Wall’s contract runs through 2023, so Beal will be hampered with him the entire time if he stays.