Wizards ink All-Star guard Beal to two-year extension


WASHINGTON, USA – Two-time NBA All-Star guard Bradley Beal signed a two-year contract extenstion worth the maximum $72 million with the Washington Wizards that begins with the 2021-2022 season, the team announced Thursday, October 17.

The 26-year-old American playmaker led the NBA in minutes played per game last season, on the court for 36.9 minutes on average in playing all 82 games for Washington, which went 32-50, the club's worst record in 6 years, and missed the playoffs.

The deal has a player option for the 2022-2023 campaign that would guarantee him $130 million over 4 years. It also means he can't be traded before the 2020 season, removing him as a trade deadline target for contenders and keeping him out of free agency for 3 years.

Beal, picked third in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged career-bests of 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game last season and sparked the club after John Wall was lost to an Achilles tendon injury in December.

"Both the Wizards organization and the city of Washington have been committed to supporting me and my family since the day I was drafted and I feel blessed to be able to show my commitment back to them," Beal said.

"I'm proud to continue leading this team both on and off the court and look forward to being part of building something special."

The Wizards, who fired team president and general manager Ernie Grunfeld last April, plus the move by new general manager Tommy Sheppard ensures a key player remains with the Wizards for the long term.

"He's entering the prime of his career and we're committed to building and developing our team around him as we establish the environment for sustainable winning," Sheppard said.

Beal has career averages of 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game. Last season, he joined James Harden and Kevin Durant as the only players with more than 2,000 points as well as more than 400 rebounds and 400 assists for the campaign. – Rappler.com