For nearly a half-decade, Bradley Beal has served as the face of the franchise for the Washington Wizards. Though rumblings emerged on a few occasions in the last couple of seasons, Beal elected to decline a lucrative player option for the 2022-23 season, creating flexibility but also opening up a pathway to an enormous deal to keep the former No. 3 overall pick in the nation’s capital for a long time. Now, the widespread assumption that Beal would return to Washington is backed up by reporting that he will ink a 5-year, $251 million supermax extension to stay with the Wizards.
All-Star guard Bradley Beal has agreed to a five-year, $251 million maximum contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Beal and freshly acquired big man Kristaps Porzingis will serve as Washington’s one-two punch to begin the 2022-23 campaign, and Beal is a three-time NBA All-Star. He is also a former All-NBA selection who averaged more than 30 points per game during both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. In 2021-22, Beal took a step back in averaging only 23.3 points per game, but he produced a career-best 6.6 assists per contest and there is little reason to believe Beal simply forgot how to shoot while posting a career-worst 30.0 percent three-point clip.
With Beal set to begin his new deal with his age-29 season, there is certainly risk on Washington’s side of a contract that looks ugly by the end. However, Beal is the team’s best player and, despite the potential to pivot into a clear rebuild direction in the last couple of seasons, all indications are that the Wizards preferred to keep Beal and attempt to build around him, rather than without him.