NBA

Bradley Beal declines player option with the Wizards, becomes unrestricted free agent

By Sports Desk June 29, 2022

Washington Wizards standout Bradley Beal will enter the NBA’s unrestricted free agent market after officially declining his $36.4 million player option for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

Beal’s agency, Priority Sports, confirmed the decision to ESPN Thursday, the deadline for teams and players to decide on options for next season.

The move allows Beal to seek a maximum contract extension worth just over $250 million over five years if he re-signs with the Wizards, or a four-year deal for approximately $185 million if he signs with another team.

ESPN reported earlier this week that the industry expectation was for Beal to decline his option to sign a maximum extension with the Wizards, the team he has spent his entire 10-year career with.

The three-time All-Star is likely to receive a max deal despite an injury-plagued and down 2021-22 campaign in which he was limited to 40 games by a left wrist injury that required surgery. Beal finished the season shooting a career-low 30 percent from 3-point range.

Beal finished second in the league scoring race in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, and was named to the All-NBA Third Team in that latter season after averaging a career-high 31.3 points per game for a Washington team that earned the Eastern Conference’s eighth playoff seed.

Should he return to Washington, Beal would have a new backcourt partner after the Wizards acquired point guard Monte Morris from the Denver Nuggets in a four-player trade Thursday.

The Wizards also received veteran wing Will Barton from Denver while sending wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and reserve guard Ish Smith to the Nuggets.

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