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Bradley Beal's new contract a big win for Wizards revamped front office

Bradley Beal's new contract a big win for Wizards revamped front office

What was the most uncertain part of the Wizards' future is now clear, as All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal has agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $72 million to remain in Washington through at least the 2021-22 season with a player option for 2022-23, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. He and the Wizards came to terms just four days before the deadline to do so was set to pass.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise, as most believed Beal would wait to potentially make more money down the road. He could have bet on himself to make All-NBA this season and earned a supermax contract. But this decision gives him financial security through his Age 29 season with the ability to reset in free agency. With the player option, he can line up for a lucrative deal in just three years.

As Adrian Wojnarowski noted in his initial ESPN report, Beal could earn a deal worth $266 million over five years if he declines his player option, as he will then have 10 years of NBA service under his belt. If he opts to leave in free agency in the summer of 2022, he could still net a contract worth $198 million over four years with another team.

So, either way Beal will get paid and this contract solidifies his commitment to Washington and their plan to build around him. It also likely disappoints a handful of teams around the NBA that saw Beal as an enticing trade target. The Wizards continued to deflect offers this summer even with general manager Tommy Sheppard saying publicly they wouldn't deal him.

The Wizards can now breathe easy for at least another year when it comes to Beal. If they let the deadline pass, next summer would have forced a tough decision with him being one year away from free agency. Washington may have had no choice but to trade him or else risk losing him for nothing the following summer.

It is not the way most predicted it would go, but then again the Wizards have been able to buck league trends in this regard consistently in recent years. In an age where NBA stars move from team to team, the Wizards have been able to keep their own All-Star players happy and re-sign them over and over.

They signed John Wall to a max contract and then a supermax deal. And this is Beal's third contract with the team, the second time he has decided to re-sign.

That just doesn't happen around the league. Even when the collective bargaining agreement creates incentives for players to stay, where they have to forgo tens of millions of dollars to leave their original teams, many guys still run for the exits.

The Wizards, though, have been different in the way they have been able to build strong relationships with their stars to the point where they want to stay, in this case even with the team more likely to finish outside of the playoff picture this season than not. Beal wants to win, but he has clearly been sold on the team's long-term vision and is willing to apply the necessary patience to see it through.

Whether you agree with the decision to keep Beal or not, Sheppard and the Wizards' front office deserves a good deal of credit. They successfully convinced a star in his prime to do something very few of his peers would likely do if given the same choice.

Keeping Beal and Wall has also been a departure from the team's history. The Wizards at one point not long ago were known for developing star players only to let them go and watch them win elsewhere. It happened with Chris Webber, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton and Ben Wallace. Three of them teamed up to win an NBA title in Detroit.

Now, with Beal's future more secure, the tone of the Wizards' season will change. The results may not be different at all, but any potential distraction of whether he will want to leave has been eliminated, or least tabled for another date.

Wizards fans may not have expected this, but Beal isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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Celtics resting all of their best players offers Wizards good chance for first win in final bubble game

Celtics resting all of their best players offers Wizards good chance for first win in final bubble game

It has been five months since the Wizards last won a game and it could be another four months until they have another chance. They enter Thursday's season finale against the Boston Celtics (12 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington) having lost all 10 of their games in the NBA's restart bubble, though technically only seven of them count.

That leaves Thursday's game with some relatively high stakes. The Wizards are trying to avoid leaving Disney World winless.

The good news is that the Boston Celtics see nothing to play for, so they are resting basically all of their best players. Their injury report reads like a starting lineup.

Out are Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis. Brown, Hayward and Smart are listed as out due to rest. The others have minor injuries. 

That could create an opening for the Wizards, who have yet to take advantage of the few breaks offered by their seeding game schedule. They lost to the Suns back before Phoenix became the surprise team of the bubble. They also lost to the Brooklyn Nets with most of their roster missing and then again to the Pacers who were without Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

On Tuesday, they fell to the Bucks who were missing Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton and saw Giannis Antetokounmpo ejected in the first half. The Wizards' lack of winning experience due to their very young roster has proven too much to overcome.

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Maybe that will change on Thursday as the Wizards sense their final opportunity for a win before they get on a flight and head back to Washington to begin their offseason. They will see a Celtics team whose top remaining scorer is Enes Kanter, who averages 8.1 points per game.

Boston is one of the best teams in the NBA when healthy. They have the third-best record in the East and rank top-four in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

And they still have one of their most valuable assets: head coach Brad Stevens. He happened to get a contract extension on Wednesday.

The odds might actually be in the Wizards' favor despite the fact they are missing Bradley Beal, John Wall and Davis Bertans. We'll see if they can take advantage.

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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo suspended one game by NBA for headbutting Moe Wagner

Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo suspended one game by NBA for headbutting Moe Wagner

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks predicted that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo would be suspended by the NBA for headbutting Moe Wagner in Tuesday night's game, and that is exactly what has happened.

Antetokounmpo will be banned for one game as the Bucks close out the regular season on Thursday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Bucks will begin their postseason run after that as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Antetokounmpo and Wagner got into it in the first half after Wagner took a charge against him. Antetokounmpo approached Wagner after the whistle and lunged forward for the headbutt.

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He was ejected after the referees reviewed the replay. The Bucks still held on to beat the Wizards despite missing the reigning MVP.

Antetokounmpo, 25, is likely to win the MVP award again this year. He finishes his 2019-20 regular season with averages of 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

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