Washington Wizards all-star Bradley Beal has a big decision looming this week. The franchise plans to extend a three-year, $111 million contract extension at the first opportunity Friday.
Although Beal and his representatives have remained in contact with newly appointed general manager Tommy Sheppard as well as managing partner Ted Leonsis, there is no rush to come to an agreement.
“We’ll talk to the Wizards. We’ve been talking to the Wizards. Those are things we have to figure out in terms of what’s the right thing for everyone,” Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Monday. “We’re not locked in on specific dates in terms of all that. There’s nothing that needs to be decided at this moment. There’s a lot for Brad to consider. Ted and the entire Wizards organization have been nothing but spectacular to us.”
The Wizards, likewise, do not expect a quick response. After Monday afternoon’s announcement of the formation of Monumental Basketball, the restructuring of the four basketball properties owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Leonsis said the team will make its presentation Friday, but he anticipates Beal will want to learn more about the Wizards’ new vision.
“I talk to Bradley all the time. I’ve previewed everything that we’re doing all along the way. But I don’t expect Bradley — just like you shouldn’t expect me to do an interview with someone in two hours and say, ‘Okay!’ I’m not going to be waiting there, Tommy’s not going to be waiting there for a signature,” Leonsis said. “He’ll want to meet all these people. He’ll want to see what our plans are. But Brad knows he’s respected, he’s loved and we’re committed. And I’m hoping that he believes in this new NBA where it’s two players and a great rotation that ‘Why not us?’ ”
Beal did not make an all-NBA team this summer and therefore missed out on being eligible for a supermax contract. But if Beal gets voted to the first, second or third team next year, that would change — which means it might make sense to wait on a new deal.
If Beal declines the extension this summer, Sheppard said, the decision will not impact the Wizards’ thinking about Beal’s long-term future with the franchise.
“Not at all,” Sheppard said. “Those types of conversations will always be kept private. With Bradley, if he was to say no, if he was to say yes, I think it’s all about what’s best for everybody in the room certainly, and I think with Bradley, he has the right to choose what he wants to do.
“[Friday] is the first time that we can do anything with Brad,” Sheppard said. “Out of respect to him, that day we’re going to have a conversation, but I don’t expect an answer anytime soon.”
Beal did come to a conclusion on another matter Monday. Anticipating the birth of his second child in August, Beal decided to withdraw from USA Basketball training camp next month and the FIBA World Cup tournament later this summer.
“It was a very difficult decision for him because he loves Team USA, loves being a part of it. He’s been a part of Team USA since high school,” Bartelstein said. “But I think also being a father and being there for his family is really, really important.”
Beal, who was invited to participate in the camp in June, becomes the latest NBA star to leave the roster. James Harden, Anthony Davis, C.J. McCollum and Eric Gordon have backed away from the training camp that runs Aug. 5-9 in Las Vegas. The World Cup begins Aug. 31 and lasts until the middle of September.
While several other stars cited the need to prepare for the upcoming regular season to explain their departure, Beal will miss a second straight year with Team USA to be with his growing family. Beal declined an invitation to participate in a training camp in June 2018 because his first child, Bradley II, was due in the summer.
“He’s wrestled with this all summer because he wants to be part of it, but, you know, he has a second child on the way, and to be gone for that amount of time, the baby being born, that’s a really hard thing for any father to do,” said Bartelstein, who doesn’t expect this decision to impact Beal’s inclusion on the 2020 Olympic team. “So they understand. Everybody at USA Basketball could not have been better about it. They understand it, they’re supportive, so it was all good.”
Barry Svrluga contributed to this report.