WASHINGTON -- It was only two words, but by saying "that's fair" when asked if it's accurate he's leaning towards re-signing with the Wizards, Bradley Beal sent a message of commitment head coach Wes Unseld Jr. believes could have an impact on the current team as they close out the 2021-22 regular season.
Beal is done for the year with a left wrist injury, but by signaling his plans for this summer, he included himself as a part of the organization's future.
"Your best player is saying good things and is very positive about the direction we’re going. There’s a level of comfort. Obviously, no one knows the future but it’s one of those things where I think he and [team president] Tommy [Sheppard] will have upfront and honest conversations when that decision needs to be made, but he’s in a good place," Unseld Jr. said.
Unseld Jr. also explained how Beal is still connected to the team, even though he isn't playing. He sits on the bench at home games, travels on most road trips and makes appearances at the facility during practice.
Beal is sporting a large cast on his left wrist, which he will have to wear for a total of 10 weeks. He can't do much training aside from leg workouts, but is doing his part by sharing his leadership with players on the team.
"He’s still a part of what we’re doing, he’s around, his voice and his presence. So, all those are good signs. That’s all we can go on and I think it’s a positive step and hopefully that continues. To see where he is and how he’s engaged, it’s a good sign to see," Unseld Jr. said.
Beal, 28, can opt-out of the final year of his contract this summer and seek a long-term extension either with the Wizards or with another team in free agency. The Wizards can offer him a deal projected to be worth $245 million over five years.