Sometimes you wonder about money and the NBA. It appears it has a limitless amount, cash literally sticking out of every one of its pockets. The rich get richer in a rich way.
And it will always remain that way, even if Adam Silver can’t convince the Chinese crybabies to calm down about Daryl Morey and just focus on the inexhaustible income that can be shared when two really greedy business partners put their heads together.
We understand every team manages its own pot of gold and dishes as it sees fit. We see it every day in the max contracts, the monstrousness of which make you shake your head and wish you were seven inches taller.
We get why the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant are future billionaires. The game seems to center exclusively on their movements and moods, the old straw that stirs the drink deal.
But Bradley Beal?
The Washington Wizards just waved their magic wand over their all-star guard to the tune of a two-year, $72 million max contract extension. The deal, which doesn’t even kick in until the 2021-22 season, reportedly includes a player option for 2022-23 that would keep him out of free agency for three additional seasons and would guarantee the guy almost $130 million over just four years.
There’s more: According to ESPN, if Beal declines the option upon reaching a decade of service in 2022 to re-sign with the Wizards, he, Bradley Beal, would be eligible to sign the largest contract in NBA history – five years and $266 million.
The numbers are just startling, especially when connected to a player who isn’t generally considered one of the NBA’s megastars. We mean, he’s a good player, but he’s no Greek Freak. He might not even be as good as Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker. Did we miss something? When was he every compared to Steph Curry or Klay Thompson?
Beal, an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, had his best year in Washington in 2018, averaging career highs in 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. But since he was drafted in 2012, he’s played on only four playoff teams.
We guess it doesn’t matter. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The Wizards have assigned that value to him, so we should all just congratulate Beal for making more bank in Washington this year than even he could have ever imagined.
Just so you know, if Beal were to leave the Wizards in three years, he is eligible to sign a four-year, $198 million deal with another team. That’s almost $50 million annually.
Let’s be honest, the Wizards have always been something of an afterthought in the Eastern Conference, a nice team, with a few interesting components, that can occasionally push the better teams. But rarely, if ever, have they been included among the league’s elite.
Maybe that explains this deal. Maybe the Wizards were desperate to convince Beal of their commitment to building a more competitive team and they wanted him to feel like he was at its core.
By signing, Beal has essentially told the Wizards he believes in their direction and wants to be a part of their future. So in that regard, it’s a win-win situation. Now it’s up to the Wizards to uphold he second part of their commitment – building a better team around him.
In a way, you can also say the deal is something of a bummer to whatever teams out there may have thought Beal could be landed in a trade. It’s clear he’s not going anywhere.
“This was a long process that really covered the entire summer and fall, including numerous conversations and meetings,” Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN. “This was probably going to be the most important decision that Brad was going to make in his career, and we wanted to give (the Wizards) every opportunity to present their vision for the franchise. And they’ve genuinely done a wonderful job of getting Brad excited about the future and how they plan to build the Wizards team around him.
“Brad has always made it clear to me, that in a perfect world, he would never leave Washington. He has felt an obligation to be the focal point in turning the Wizards into an elite team. He’s thrilled about all the resources that Ted is pouring into the franchise and thrilled how committed [Leonsis] and Tommy are to building something special.”