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Report: Bradley Beal won’t sign contract extension with Wizards

Wizards star Bradley Beal

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Houston Rockets at Capital One Arena on January 05, 2022 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

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Wizards star Bradley Beal has a standing offer on a four-year, likely $181,301,299 max contract extension.

But if he waits until free agency this summer to re-sign with Washington, his projected max would be about $242 million over five years. He’d also leave the door open to leaving (for a projected max of four years, $179 million from another team).

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Beal has made it clear he doesn’t plan to sign an extension

This ought to terrify the Wizards.

Though there’s clear financial incentive to delay his next deal even if he’s still completely committed to Washington, Beal once showed his loyalty with a less-lucrative extension. Now, Beal says he’s being selfish for the first time in his career. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, he could leave the Wizards high and dry.

Of course, Beal could still re-sign. He said he wants to retire with Washington and even “I’d die in that Wizards jersey.”

A sign-and-trade could also yield significant return this offseason, though probably less than if Washington just deals him before the upcoming trade deadline.

The Wizards must evaluate by Feb. 10 what Beal will do after June 30. That’s incredibly difficult. Though conversations will undoubtedly occur behind the scenes, circumstances can change in the months between the trade deadline

Forgoing the extension gives Beal time to become dissatisfied in Washington. Though they’ve been far more competitive this season than recent years, the Wizards aren’t even a lock to make the postseason, let alone the playoffs. What will Beal’s last impression of Washington be as he enters free agency?