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Beal & The Wizards Expect to Come to Terms on a New Deal This Summer | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A broken nose was one of the several injuries Bradley Beal had to deal with this season. Photo by WP, Toni L. Sandys.

22 years old Bradley Beal is The Wizards future plan according to Ernie Grunfeld, Washington Wizards President, who stated that Beal is in its future after the later evaluated the current state of the organization and how it’s willing to move forward. Grunfled described Beal as someone young and worth of building hopes on, having starred in 2 postseasons. Also he added that Beal is a franchise pillar and a reason why the Wizards’ vacant coaching job is desirable.

Beal will be turning 23 years old in June and will become a restricted free agent on July 1 because the two sides didn’t come to terms on a contract extension before a Nov. 2 deadline; thus it can be concluded that Beal’s future in Washington isn’t wrapped up yet.

Beal is apparently lost and expressed his thoughts in regard of the whole deal when asked if he plans on gauging interest around the league or re-signing with Washington immediately that he wants to be here. But he just doesn’t know. He added “I don’t even know what I’m getting into right now. It’s like choosing colleges again. But I’m happy where I am. Hopefully, we can agree with each other this summer and we can get it done. But if not, it’s a business at the end of the day.”

Beal, who made $5.7 million this season, would become the highest-paid player on Washington’s roster by a good margin. Noting that the deal around the league is as follows; the Wizards will retain Beal and will need to pay him max-contract money to do so. Based on current projections, a max contract will pay Beal around $20.7 million per season for five seasons. Where on the other front; John Wall would be second next season at $16.9 million – unless the Wizards acquire another big-money player this summer.

Nevertheless Beal and the Wizards didn’t agree to a four-year extension in October basically because the team didn’t want to limit salary-cap space at all this summer. Because Washington didn’t sign him to an extension, Beal will count $14 million toward the Wizards salary cap on July 1. Beal wanted – and wants – more than $14 million next season, which meant he would’ve been on the books for a bigger figure; expectantly Beal will reap more than that this summer.

From his side, Beal seems not to be overwhelmed by what happened; he said “It didn’t bother me at all, honestly”. Adding that “The first week after I didn’t sign, I kind of thought about it a little bit but I will say not one time has it ever affected my game or my performance on the floor. Sometimes I kind of forget about it. I forget I ever went through the process. Now it’s a different story.”

Other franchises can offer Beal a contract on July 1 but cannot officially give him an offer sheet until July 7, when the moratorium ends. The Wizards would then have 72 hours to match because Beal is a restricted free agent. So Washington will have at least nine days in free agency to recruit free agents that fit into their cap space – currently projected to be $27.4 million – before needing to re-sign Beal. Noting that only The Wizards can offer him a five-year contract, while the rest of the league can only go up to four years.

Moreover The Wizards could also elect to trade for a player or multi players before free agency, but they decide to use the cap space, Washington can then go over the salary cap to sign Beal because they own his Bird Rights.

Beal is different from many other players by his potential and skills, helping him attract remarkable and max-contract offers, that are probably to flood the market this summer, especially that he is the youngest or in other words younger than some of those players out there. However, the inquiry is whether Beal can put up everything and last on the floor to earn the money and win the season.

During his four-year career, injuries have plagued Beal, while some have been random ailments as when he missed time with a shoulder injury, concussion, broken nose, and sprained pelvis this season . Also he’s had stress reactions in his right fibula in each of his four seasons.

This season, the injury came up after he averaged 39.7 minutes over a seven-game stretch. He was also leading the NBA in distance traveled per game at the time. He then missed 16 straight games, from Dec. 11 until Jan. 13, and ended up setting a new career low in games played with 55 this season. When he returned, he was placed on a minutes restriction — he averaged 28.6 minutes per game — and came off the bench in 20 of 38 games.

Beal said that the injury always comes unexpected, and stated that he is his own-self’s toughest critic; quoting “I love to be on the floor. I’ll do whatever it takes to play the most minutes. No matter if it’s a back-to-back, four games in five nights, if I have to play 40 minutes, I’ll play 40 minutes. That’s just my mentality. We did have convos about whether or not my minutes needed to be adjusted. We kind of figured that they needed to be. At the same time we just want to win. I just have that desire to win. That’s what’s most important. Sometimes it’s kind of immature, but if I get injured I get injured. I just want to win. We try to back off and be smart about it.”
Addressing reports last week, Beal declared his intention to modify his offseason workout regimen but said wasn’t sure how the process shall take place. Doing more efforts is an absolute, as how these efforts will be applied on ground is uncertain, but changing his diet and other adjustments are guaranteed.

“It’s crazy. I’m very unique,” Beal said. “Nobody else has this injury except for me so it’s kind of hard to reach out or research anybody else who has it and that they’ve done for it. So it’s kind of like a guinea pig, so to speak, and I’m just testing out things to see if they work or not.

“But I trust the doctors. We’ve been on a good program every summer. I haven’t had any experiences or any injuries during the summer so I think as far as that, it’s kind of a 50-50 thing. But when the season [comes] around, it’s something I need to adjust to. Really think adjust, really think about what can help prevent me from having the injury again.”