Loaded with talent but unable to stay healthy for a full season, Bradley Beal’s value over the course of his next contract is impossible to predict. He believes he’s worth the maximum, but his performance to date says he isn’t worth it. Now, according to the Washington Post‘s Jorge Castillo, the Wizards have agreed that he is indeed worth a max contract, and will offer him one when free agency opens July 1.
Beal will be a restricted free agent when the offseason begins, and he reportedly told the Wizards that he would seek a max deal with other teams if he didn’t get it from them. That, more than anything else, is why Beal’s getting what he wants — the Wizards know that if he can shake his injuries (a massive “if”), he very well could be one of the better shooting guards in the league. They’re almost certainly not landing Kevin Durant this summer, and without a high lottery pick, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to find a player with Beal’s potential anywhere else for at least another year.
With the salary cap rising the way it is, a player’s first max contract doesn’t take up as much relative space as it used to, so this isn’t the risk it would have been three or even two years ago — they still should be able to get another serious piece if they can find one. But make no mistake, this is still a huge risk over the length of the deal, considering how many games he’s already missed. If Beal needs to play less, is he worth the max playing 25 minutes a game even if he improves? Is anyone?
If Castillo’s report is true, the Wizards can rest easy knowing their potential star is here for the long term, but a max contract is a hard pill to swallow.
(Via Washington Post)