Was there a perfect fit for Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal in free agency?
If you asked the 29-year-old guard in the offseason, he would have given you a very simple answer.
“There were no teams in the market, free-agency-wise,” Bradley Beal said on Gilbert Arenas’ “No Chill” podcast. “I’m just being frank. There was nowhere else for me to go where I can be like, ‘Oh, I can go win.’ It was teams that strategically wasn’t what I wanted.”
Beal signed a five-year, $251 million deal in free agency with an average cap hit of just over $50.2 million, according to Spotrac, giving him the second-largest contract in league history. The deal includes a player option in 2026, a no-trade clause and a 15% trade bonus should the Wizards find a way to deal his contract to another franchise.
The three-time All Star accepted the deal out of a lack of available competitive and likely playoff-bound teams who could fit his massive contract demands with available cap space. While teams could likely have traded away contracts to try and sign the guard outright in free agency, the cost may have been too great for any team besides the Wizards to pay for the 11-year NBA veteran.
Beal is averaging 24.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists for a Washington Wizards team that is currently tied with the Miami Heat for a play-in tournament spot in the Eastern Conference. Beal currently sports a usage percentage, or the amount of plays a team executes involving a certain player, of 26.8%, putting him just outside some of the NBA’s leading usage leaders.
The Wizards’ recent explosion in offensive production paved the way for ESPN NBA writer Brian Windhorst to call Beal, forward Kristaps Porzingis and forward Kyle Kuzma a “Big Three” for D.C. The trio is scoring 65.3 points per game this season.