Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has withdrawn from consideration for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, indicating via Twitter that he plans to use the time to focus on getting healthy for the regular season. Beal played a career-low 55 games this past season while dealing with a stress injury to his right fibula.
Wizards officials confirmed Beal would not be participating in the Olympics, which will take place Aug. 5-21.
I could not be more grateful for the invitation to represent my country, as it is the ultimate honor, however … https://t.co/lFeNQfWtat
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) June 24, 2016
Beal becomes the latest player to withdraw from Olympic consideration. On Thursday, LeBron James said he would not participate; others who have declined to play for Team USA include Russell Westbrook, James Harden and two-time MVP Stephen Curry.
Wizards point guard John Wall is not participating following surgery to both knees during the offseason.
Beal will become a restricted free agent July 1, at which point the NBA’s 29 other teams can offer him a contract. The Wizards would have 72 hours to match and are expected to retain him. Beal has said he prefers to stay in Washington, but for a maximum contract.
The exact amount of that contract will depend on the league’s salary cap next season. As a four-year veteran, Beal could earn up to 25 percent of the cap. Last season’s salary cap was $70 million, but that figure is expected to rise significantly, with some reports indicating $94 million.
The Wizards are the only club permitted to sign Beal to a five-year deal, and they can exceed the salary cap to retain him because they own his Bird Rights, a provision allowing teams to go over the cap to re-sign their own free agents if they have been with the franchise for at least three years.
Washington offered Beal a contract extension before the Nov. 2 deadline for fourth-year players, but it wasn’t the maximum. Beal declined the offer, and the sides agreed to wait until the summer to resume talks. That move helps the Wizards’ bottom line because waiting until next month puts Beal’s cap hold just over $14 million, as opposed to more than $20 million had he been given the max extension.
Two spots remain on the 12-player roster for the U.S. Olympic team, which will be revealed officially next week. The most high-profile player who has yet to announce his status is Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.