NBA rumors: Bradley Beal could be forcing Wizards’ hand by refusing extension

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Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is in a prime situation to pressure his team to pay a premium or watch him walk out the door. 

For the first time in his his career, Bradley Beal admits he’s being selfish — and it’s hard to imagine someone who wouldn’t be in his particular situation.

If Bradley signs an extension with the Wizards right now, he would stand to make an estimated $181,301,299 on a four-year max contract extension.

But if Beal simply holds out for a few months, he could hit the free agency market and still choose a future with Washington, he could make $242 million over five years instead. And if Beal leaves the door open to leaving, he could sign elsewhere for a projected max of  $179 million over four years.

For Beal, there’s no risk in waiting, only the reward of even more money. The Wizards, on the other hand, would be devastated by his departure, which makes his upper hand in negotiations fascinating as the end of the season approaches.

Bradley Beal has leverage to pressure Wizards into a lucrative extension

Although professional athletes are known for holding out to see their worth validated, that’s not something Beal has ever done in the past. It should be remembered that Beal has proven his loyalty to his longtime team by signing a two-year, $71.7 million extension with the Wizards back in 2019. Over his decade-long career, Beal has earned a net $177 million — that’s less than what the Wizards are offering for the next five years.

At 28, Beal is entering the age for a significant payday and a substantial commitment from a team, and the Wizards aren’t owed any loyalty at this point. Even Russell Westbrook tried to get Beal away from the Wizards this summer, so the notion that they would underpay him after he stayed is difficult to fathom.

Beal spoke with Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes on the unique position he’s in to finally hold out for what he is worth.

“I got time, so I kinda hold the cards right now,” Beal said. “And one, I’ve never been in this position. I’m kinda embracing that, being able to kinda dictate how I want my future to be and where I want it to be. And at the same time, I’m not gonna make that grand commitment and it doesn’t work. Ultimately, you have to be selfish at some point and for probably the first time in my career, Year 10, I am. And so I’m kinda taking advantage of it in a way.”

When rookies hold out for more money, it can appear pretentious and indignant for unproven talent to demand more compensation. But for Beal, he’s put the work in for a windfall over nine years, and it’s time the Wizards reward him handsomely.

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