Report: Wizards trying to extend Bradley Beal rather than trade him

Jack Baer

The Washington Wizards’ single biggest trade asset is Bradley Beal, and the All-Star shooting guard would likely be the first to go if the team decides to commit to a full rebuild.

Several teams figure to be interested in Beal, including the New Orleans Pelicans who are reportedly open to dealing the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft for the 25-year-old. For now, it appears those teams will be disappointed.

‘They are not trading him’

During an appearance on a mock draft special, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that rather than shop Beal, the Wizards are planning to offer Beal a three-year, $111 million extension.

“Everybody in the league has tried to get at Bradley Beal. They are not trading him,” Wojnarowski said. “He is eligible for a three-year, $111 million extension later in July, and right now I’m told it’s the team’s intention is to offer that up to him and try to keep moving forward.”

Beal is already under control for the next two seasons thanks to his five-year, $128 million extension signed in 2016, so this new extension would give the Wizards five years of control.

Would Bradley Beal really sign that Wizards extension?

There’s no indication Beal does or doesn’t plan to sign the extension, though he’d have to be pretty confident in the organization to commit the next half-decade of his life — and arguably the rest of his prime years — to DC. The Wizards still don’t have a general manager after whiffing on the Denver Nuggets’ Tim Connelly and totally never being interested in the Toronto Raptors’ Masai Ujiri.

John Wall’s supermax extension looks like nothing but a weight around the Wizards’ neck after the star point guard’s Achillles rupture, with $170 million committed over the next four years to a player who may never be the same. A Wizards rebuild would have to be managed around that, and keeping Beal and competing in a suddenly competitive East could be an even more difficult task.

Of course, the Wizards’ plans for the future could change depending on who they hire to run the team. What the team does with Beal could end up being the first step in whatever the team’s next top executive has planned.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 29:  Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 29, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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 Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Plenty of teams would be interested in Bradley Beal if the Wizards made him available. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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