Bradley Beal, a restricted free agent this summer, won’t settle for anything less than a max deal from Washington Wizards to stay in the nation’s capital. In the event that Wizards fail to match any max offer sheets, Beal is ready to take his talents elsewhere.
“I want to be valued the right way,” the shooting guard told The Washington Post in a telephonic interview from Japan, where he visited as part of a promotional tour for the NBA.
Worth a max contract?
The 22-year-old reckons he’s worth the max contract. “I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for. If Washington can’t meet that requirement then I may be thinking elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that they probably won’t (let me go). At the end of the day, that’s where I want to be. I think a deal will probably get done but you just never know.”
It’s not a foregone conclusion that Wizards match any offer sheets. Beal, drafted No. 3 overall in 2012, is yet to play an 82-game season. Over the last two seasons, Beal has missed a total of 46 games due to a string of various injuries. Though the Wizards still hope that John Wall and Beal remain the front court for the foreseeable future, nothing is set in stone.
Though Beal has garnered the reputation for being ‘injury-prone’, the Florida product is ready to move past the setbacks. “I hear about it all time, but that doesn’t define me as a player. “That won’t stop me from growing as a player and it won’t stop me from being who I am. The injury thing, that’s behind me. I’m moving forward. I’m past it.”
Bradley Beal + Lakers: A good fit?
The Los Angeles Lakers, loaded with cap space, will be able to offer Beal a 4-year max contract that would pay him close to $22 million next season. The Wizards, who own Beal’s Bird Rights, would still be able to offer the most lucrative 5-year contract.
Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post breaks it down: “The exact amount for a maximum contract for Beal will depend on the league’s salary cap next season. Initial projections pegged the figure at $90 million – a $20 million jump from last season — but league executives have been using $92 million as the number and it could increase even further. As a four-year veteran, Beal could earn up to 25 percent of the cap. If the cap is $92 million then a max deal would pay him $23 million next season.”
The Lakers, too, have a decision to make with RFA Jordan Clarkson. With Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams already on the roster, there’s little room on the rotation for a guard. Should Lakers let Clarkson walk and replace him with Bradley Beal?