The Washington Wizards enter free agency this Friday with a wish list that includes Nicolas Batum, Al Horford and Ryan Anderson, according to a source close to the team.
According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, Wizards are willing to out-bid other teams to get their three primary targets, especially in the aftermath of Kevin Durant refusing to grant them a free agency meeting.
While Horford and Batum are expected to command maximum contracts, Anderson is likely to command a salary in the range of $15 million. Batum has expressed his desire to remain with Charlotte Hornets. However, Horford and Anderson are likely to switch teams, per sources.
Wizards priority remains Bradley Beal
Washington will have approximately $40 million to spend this offseason. They could open up another $4 million by declining team options on Drew Gooden and Jarell Eddie. Wizards are also expected to max out Bradley Beal, a restricted free agent, and counter any offer sheets that the shooting guard could receive.
Last month, Beal told Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post that he deserves a max contract. “I want to be valued the right way. 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.
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“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,” added Beal, before reiterating that money would be the deciding factor in free agency and not loyalty.
Meanwhile, Washington is not expected to bring back veteran power forward Nene, who is set to test free agency for possibly the final time in his career.
NBA free agency begins this Friday. Historically, the Wizards haven’t made much noise this time of the year. But they have the cap space to sign a max free agent this summer.