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What’s Next for the Washington Wizards?

Earlier this week, the Washington Wizards reached a deal with one of their star players. According to reports, Bradley Beal and the Wizards have agreed to a two-year, $72 million extension.

After a summer of trade speculation, the Wizards retain Beal for a little bit longer. The extension comes right before the start of the season and ensures Beal will remain with them until at least the 2021-22 season when the extension begins.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Beal’s contract includes a player option for 2022-23 and has a total value of four years and $130 million. Wojnarowski also says that if Beal were to decline the option (while reaching 10 years of service in 2022) and re-signs with the Wizards, he could sign the largest contract in league history. If this occurs, Beal could sign a five-year contract worth $266 million.

For the Wizards, keeping Beal was a priority. With John Wall out, the Wizards have at least half of their backcourt for the upcoming season. This extension benefits them as they prepare to regroup from their 2018-19 season.

Last season, the Wizards finished the season with a record of 32-50. They finished 11th in the Eastern Conference and ended up with the ninth pick of the 2019 draft. The Wizards used the pick to draft Rui Hachimura from Gonzaga. Washington had a rough season and nearly traded Wall or Beal as Wojnarowski reported that no Wizards player was exempt from trade talks at one point in the season. However, Beal and Wall remained with Washington.

Their 2018-19 season came as a surprise, as they made the playoffs four out of the last five seasons. In the year they didn’t make the playoffs (2016), they still finished with a .500 record. So, their performance last season was somewhat out of character.

The Wizards are in a decent position. They have a young player in Hachimura, one-half of their backcourt in Beal and a few front office changes.

While there is a chance the Wizards will be a lottery team this year, they are at least off to an ok start.

 

Featured Image courtesy of Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

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