Wizards

Quick Links

Serious talks open for Bradley Beal's contract extension

usatsi_8424855.jpg

Serious talks open for Bradley Beal's contract extension

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. 

MORE WIZARDS: WIZ ARE MORE VERSATILE

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.  

Quick Links

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

bensimmons.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?