Bradley Beal is in the final year of his rookie deal with the Wizards after being drafted No. 3 overall in 2012. He becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2016, when Washington will have to decide how much money they're willing to spend to keep him.
Beal's draft position and high ceiling once virtually guaranteed he'd get a max deal, but one injury setback after another has chipped away at his value.
On Saturday the Wizards announced that Beal would sit out at least until Christmas after tests showed signs of a stress reaction in his lower right leg. This is the fourth season in a row (every year of his career) that Beal has missed time with the same injury.
The leg, while the most troubling, isn't the only injury that's forced him to sit out this season. He sat out three games over two weeks in November with a shoulder contusion.
If he continues missing time at this rate, he will only play 51 games this year.
Beal has had an up and down season even when he's on the court. After starting very strong, he fell into a weeks-long slump, leaving Wizards Insider J. Michael to wonder aloud what's going on.
Beal had seven turnovers in a 109-103 loss to the Houston Rockets and shot 5 of 15 from the field. ... Except for a 34-point outburst he had last week in a win against the Phoenix Suns, Beal hasn't been the same since returning Nov. 21 from the left shoulder contusion that kept him out two weeks. He's shooting 22-for-58 in his last three games, or 38%. That includes 6-for-17 on three-pointers for 35%. He has totaled just nine assists, 14 rebounds and 11 turnovers.
His overall field-goal accuracy in 11 games since the injury is 40.8% (74 of 181).
Despite trending downward, Beal's full-season numbers aren't bad -- 19.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. But are they good enough to warrant a max deal despite health concerns?
For the 2016-17 salary cap, his max number would be around $21 million per year. The Wizards hold Beal's Bird Rights, so the value of his contract over five years could be upwards of $127 million.
Comparing that figure to what other shooting guards make wouldn't be fair because of the cap's huge jump in 2016-17, but we can look at two guards who got max contracts last year:
Jimmy Butler ($92.3 million over 5 years; $15.3 million base) - Averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 65 games in 2014-15.
Wesley Matthews ($70.1 million over 4 years; $16.4 million base) - Averaged 15.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 60 games in 2014-15.
Klay Thompson ($69 million over 4 years; $15.5 million base) - Averaged 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 77 games in 2014-15. (This isn't technically a max contract because Thompson and Golden State agreed to a number, rather than a percentage of the salary cap)
So this is where the open thread part comes in -- do you think Beal is worth max money to the Wizards? Leave your answers and reasoning in the comments.