LAS VEGAS -- Now that the most of the heavy-lifting has been dealt with in free agency, the Wizards will begin serious talks with Bradley Beal regarding a contract extension, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with two people with knowledge of the situation.
Contacted early Sunday, agent Mark Bartelstein said actual negotiations with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will go forward as early as this upcoming week. "We had to get past that first nine or 10 days of free agency. With that chaotic period over, Ernie and I will talk and see where we are," Bartelstein told CSN.
Beal is going into the final year of his rookie scale contract that pays him $4.7 million for 2015-16. The sides have until the start of the season to work out a deal and if they don't talks will be tabled until next summer when Beal becomes a restricted free agent.
The shooting guard is coming off an uneven season when he missed 19 games because of multiple injuries, including his third year in a row with a stress reaction in his lower right leg. Beal averaged just 15.3 points but flourished again as the Wizards' leading scorer in the playoffs when he helped lead them to the East semifinals for the second year in a row.
The free-agency period opened July 1 and the Wizards' priority was re-signing Paul Pierce, who left for the Los Angeles Clippers. They moved to compensate for his loss by negotiating a trade for Jared Dudley and bringing in Alan Anderson and Gary Neal as free agents and retaining the services of Drew Gooden.
Until now, both sides regarding Beal's extension have been collecting information in what is more of an exploratory stage before sitting down to discuss details.
Beal would likely command a max deal or something close to it based on what has taken place in the market this summer -- Wes Matthews, four years and $70 million max -- so it might be prudent for the Wizards to secure him sooner to put the issue to rest. Of course, if they plan on matching whatever Beal is offered as a restricted free agent maybe there's not as much urgency.
But based on what the Wizards did two summers ago, when John Wall was eligible for an extension going into the final year of his rookie deal, they moved quickly. They took care of their own free agents and roster voids first and then moved on to Wall's extension which was a max of five years for $80 million.