Quick Links

Morning tip: Sensible decision by Beal, Wizards to wait


Morning tip: Sensible decision by Beal, Wizards to wait

Now that the expected has happened -- the Wizards and Bradley Beal did not reach an agreement on an extension to his rookie scale contract -- this is what it all means:

  • After receiving a qualifying offer of $7.5 million from the Wizards next summer, which will be a formality, Beal becomes a restricted free agent. This happens the day after the last game of the NBA Finals up to June 30. This doesn't mean that Beal signs it. He won't. It simply gives the Wizards first right of refusal and they'll have 72 hours to match any offer sheet he brings to them from another team. If they declined to extend a qualifier and renounced his rights (this won't happen but in theory it could), he'd then become unrestricted July 1. 

  • Let's say Beal and the Wizards can't come to terms on a multi-year extension next summer. Beal could opt to sign the one-year qualifier, a similar deal that Kevin Seraphin accepted in the summer of 2014. But these are two different players in two vastly different situations. Seraphin was hoping to improve his market value which was low going into the 2014-15 season and he was hoping to build it up for the summer of 2015 (and that strategy failed). Beal's value is sky high so taking such a risk would be nothing short of brain dead. Beal and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, are too smart for that. Now gambling on himself to have an injury-free and productive 2015-16 season, Beal would be playing on a one-year deal for 2016-17 at about $10 million below market value. That's a steep risk to take just to become unrestricted in the summer of 2017. When a player is willing to go to those lengths to extricate himself -- think Greg Monroe with the Detroit Pistons -- he's miserable and just wants out. Beal doesn't want to go anywhere. And the Wizards aren't breaking up one of the NBA's best backcourts with John Wall. 

  • The Wizards own what's called Beal's Bird rights. Once a player is vested for three years with a team it can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him, a mechanism in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that helps teams retain their own free agents. In 2011, when an agreement on a new deal was reached during the lockout with the players union, teams with Bird rights were given more leverage. This came after LeBron James and Chris Bosh left their teams high and dry by bolting for the Miami Heat without them getting fair compensation in return and making rebuilding difficult and parity impossible. The team that owns the Bird rights can offer one extra year and 7.5% raises each year. If Beal were to play 2016-17 on a qualifying offer and leave as an unrestricted free agent the following summer, the maximum he could get is a three-year deal with 4.5% raises each year because his new team wouldn't have Bird rights. It's a punitive measure implemented to balance the scales for teams that have a better chance at retention. If you want to leave the team with your Bird rights, fine, but you're going to take a significant pay cut to do so. The caveat: Beal could become disgruntled or want to leave and force a sign-and-trade. That way, his Bird rights would transfer to his new team and he doesn't sacrifice any money or length of his contract. The Wizards, in such a scenario, would be able to get closer to fair market value in return. When Trevor Ariza left two years ago for the Houston Rockets in free agency, it was orchestrated as a sign-and-trade which allowed the Wizards gain a trade exception used to bring in Kris Humphries. Ariza retained his Bird rights.

  • Next summer is about more than Kevin Durant, who will be an unrestricted free agent. The Wizards have to decide whether or not to pick up final-year options on Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and Drew Gooden. Jared Dudley, Gary Neal, Alan Anderson, Nene, Ramon Sessions and Garrett Temple come off the books and will be unrestricted. Martell Webster is in the final fully guaranteed year of his deal, with fourth-year buyout just over $2 million in 2016. There's a lot of movement that will take place. By signing Beal to a max extension now, they'd have less money to fill the holes in the roster. The Wizards are better off waiting -- as David Aldridge of NBA.com explains in more detail here using a great example with how the San Antonio Spurs handled Kawhi Leonard's extension -- to re-sign Beal as an exception to the cap because they can exceed it to do so. Currently, the Wizards are over the $70 million salary cap but under the $84 million luxury tax line for 2015-16. It's a complicated mathematical formula that requires creative accounting but doing it this way will maximize the Wizards' buying power in the open market next summer without negatively impacting Beal's own bottom line.


Quick Links

Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.


Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."


Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.


Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!