Report: Bradley Beal’s agent meets with Wizards to discuss guard’s future

Wizards star Bradley Beal
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Bradley Beal‘s agent, Mark Bartelstein, flew to Washington to meet with Wizards management.

And it wasn’t to discuss just Beal undergoing season-ending wrist surgery.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal — who’ll undergo season-ending surgery on his left wrist — and his agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports met with owner Ted Leonsis and general manager Tommy Sheppard on Monday to discuss the three-time All-Star’s future and the franchise’s plans for constructing a roster, sources told ESPN.

The conversation — which included reaching a consensus on Beal’s ultimate decision to repair a torn scapholunate ligament — will start to shape Beal’s decision on his future with the organization.

Beal and Bartelstein have been in consistent contact with ownership and management about the direction of the franchise, and the Monday meeting in Washington D.C. was further dialogue ahead of the Thursday’s trade deadline.

This sounds ominous.

Beal and the Wizards are at an inflection point. This is their last chance to trade him before he can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Though his injury saps his value to any team that wanted him for the 2022 playoffs, perhaps a team would still trade to acquire his Bird Rights now if Beal pledges to re-sign. That team would not have to open cap space, not trigger a hard cap with a sign-and-trade and not risk tampering penalties with an opt-in-and-trade in the summer. Plus, Beal could secure more money than he’d get joining a new team through a different route this summer.

Because of his injury, Beal could reconsider the $181,301,299 max contract extension Washington can offer right now. Probably not, though. His max on a new contract in free agency projects to be about $245 million over five years if he re-signs or about $182 million over four years if he leaves.

The Wizards prefer to keep Beal. But what does he want?

Bartelstein is presumably conveying that to Washington.

This report feels similar to when Ben Simmons‘ agent, Rich Paul, met with the 76ers in June. Wojnarowski at the time:

Discussions on Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons’ future with the franchise started in Chicago this week and included Simmons’ agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, and Sixers management, sources told ESPN.

Paul met with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand at the pre-draft combine to begin evaluating the next steps in Simmons’ Sixers career, sources said.

Though Wojnarowski reported “no request was made,” Morey later revealed: “They came to us and asked for a trade shortly after the season, his representatives in Chicago. We were not looking to trade him.”

Maybe we’ll eventually hear what Bartelstein and the Wizards discussed this week.

At some point, Beal’s future with the franchise will come into focus.