Bradley Beal refuses option at Wizards, becomes free agent

Three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal has turned down the $36.4 million option on his 2022-23 season contract with the Washington Wizards. according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

The ten-year veteran is eligible for a maximum five-year contract with the Wizards worth nearly $250 million or a four-year deal from another team in the $180 million range, both starting with a $43 million salary.

The financial choice seems clear, as long as Washington is willing to pay him his full maximum. Asked in March if he planned to re-sign with the Wizards, Beal told reporters, “That’s fair,” and he reiterated that stance. to Ava Wallace of the Washington Post last month, even if he is openly enjoy the free agency recruitment.

The Wizards team president, Tommy Sheppard, similarly expressed confidence that the team will keep Beal.

“I feel like every indication he has given me is that he wants to be ahead here,” Sheppard told reporters at the end of last season. “I’m sticking to the 10 years of confidence I have in the relationship we’ve had.”

Beal averaged 30.9 points (on 47/35/87 shootings), 5.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 35.9 minutes per game from 2019-21, before having left wrist surgery cut him half last season. cost. Since he and former backcourt mate John Wall led the Wizards to Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Washington has won three playoff games in two playoff appearances. The Wizards traded the oft-injured Wall in December 2020.

Since then, Washington has linked Beal to a variety of mostly bad contracts and mediocre prospects. The Wizards traded one-time MVP Russell Westbrook after a first-round playoff exit in 2021, acquiring one-time All-Star Kristaps Porzingis on the February deadline. The franchise is still waiting for the recent first round picks from Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert to develop into a playoff-worthy supporting cast.

That has fueled rumors that Beal could leave freely or request a trade. Candidates seeking another star have long been associated with Beal, including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. His friendship with Celtics star Jayson Tatum has been the source of much speculation, but Beal has pledged allegiance to the team that drafted him third overall in 2012.

Bradley Beal has played for the Washington Wizards since they drafted him third overall in 2012.  (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Bradley Beal has played for the Washington Wizards since they drafted him third overall in 2012. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Do you have a tip? Mail him to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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