Questions about Bradley Beal's future with the Wizards always seem to find their way into the forefront. No matter what Beal says about it and no matter how recently he committed to the franchise with a new contract, those questions will become much more valid very soon. Next month, the Wizards will be able to sign him to a new deal and general manager Tommy Sheppard has already said on the record he plans to make an offer.
Beal has been here before, having signed two max contract extensions in the past. The last one was in October of 2019, a two-year deal worth $72 million.
It's an old hat for him and that was reflected in his comments on Monday as the Wizards held their 2021-22 media day in Southeast Washington.
"It’s the same as always. It’s always going to be ‘what is he going to do?’ I leave that to [my agent] Mark [Bartelstein] and Tommy and [Wizards chairman] Ted [Leonsis]," Beal said..
"Obviously, I have some say-so in that. I don’t worry about that. I know it’s coming up in a few days, but my biggest thing is getting myself going to a good start. I’ll worry about the contract and the money all that later. I’ll let them deal with it when the time comes."
The last time Beal was asked about his contract in a Wizards press conference was at the end of the 2020-21 season in June. He referred to this upcoming season as the last year of his deal, reflecting the reality of his player option for the 2022-23 season. He is in all likelihood going to opt-out of the $37.3 million he's owed for that year to sign for even more.
Beal also had a line on Monday that similarly shed light on his thinking. Just because the Wizards make the offer, doesn't mean he has to say yes immediately.
"I’ve got all year to sign it, too, so I’m not in a rush," he said.
Beal not signing a new contract this October (or before next offseason) could be purely for business reasons, as he could make even more money on a longer deal next summer with 10 years of NBA service. That said, it could create some unwanted speculation, especially if the Wizards were to underperform this season.
That could also push the Wizards into a difficult decision of whether to trade him as they approach the deadline in March. If they don't sign him to a contract, and he opts out, he could then technically leave them in free agency with nothing in return.
But ultimately, it's up to Beal. We know how the Wizards feel about him. For now, he doesn't appear to feel much urgency, at least outwardly.