Bradley Beal said, if he can control it, he’ll finish his career with the Wizards. He even signed a contract extension that didn’t look financially prudent.
The extension also locked Beal into Washington for only one extra season. He could have signed for up to three more years.
Beal, via “The Old Man & The Three”
It was more or less, do I want to have something built around me? And I had that opportunity to do it here. Or do I kind of want to test the waters? And that’s kind of what made me do so.
But I signed my deal and kind of structured it to where I had some flexibility, because, at the end of the day, I still want to win. And the organization has to show me that we want to win. I want to see what John’s like, as well. So, there’s always going to be hope in that direction.
But you still want to be able to protect yourself and kind of be selfish in that regard. How can I create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning, if I do choose to get out.
Beal previously spoke about the flexibility of his extension. But he’s far more explicit here about what that flexibility allows him to do – “choose to get out.”
That’s jarring for someone who has spoken so much about his loyalty to Washington.
Beal can become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. If he wants to sign elsewhere, that’d be his right. But he’d also have to deal with the heightened blowback that comes with reversing course (especially if his exit comes via trade request.)
The Wizards were already bad when Beal hyped his loyalty to the franchise. The frustration he has felt amid losing was completely foreseeable.
Now, he sets a requirement: “The organization has to show me that we want to win.” Washington wants to win, sure. But it’s hard to win with John Wall due $132,932,520 the next three years. The Wizards losing during the rest of Beal’s extension wouldn’t necessarily be an indictment on their desire. They’re stuck in a difficult roster-building situation.
But losing could cause Beal to look elsewhere.
He’s at least talking publicly about the possibility – which is a big step considering his previous remarks.