Wizards news: Bradley Beal claims he re-signed in Washington for 'control' reasons
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Bradley Beal claims he re-signed in Washington for ‘control’ reasons

Wizards, Bradley Beal

It came as somewhat of a surprise when Bradley Beal agreed to a two-year, $72 million extension with the Washington Wizards last October. Including the $37 million player option in the final year, the deal keeps Beal under contract in D.C. through 2022-23, preventing  Beal from entertaining lucrative offers this upcoming offseason.

That, compounded with the Wizards’ lack of recent success and head-scratching decisions over the years and uncertainty surrounding John Wall’s injury (and contract), had many assuming Beal was more likely to be traded or eventually sign elsewhere than re-upping in Washington.

The 26-year old Wizards star went on the Lowe Post podcast and addressed his decision to re-sign:

“Ultimately, I felt staying, the positives outweighed leaving. The reason being is because I had more control here. I have an organization who basically gave me the keys. ‘We’re gonna build around you, we’re gonna get guys around.’ If I go anywhere else, granted, it may be a good team, but I would be a piece. Who knows if my role would be the same? My role here, I love what it is.”

Beal also squashed any lingering speculation about a rift between him and Wall, and emphasized the close bond between the Wizards backcourt mates:

“We were close way before I even got into the league. Even now, he’s a big brother to me. He’s taken me under his wing since day one. We’re still like that to this day.”

Beal was averaging a career-high 30.5 points per game in the 2019-20 season before the league suspended play last month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite Beal’s brilliance, the Wizards entered the hiatus with a 24-40 record thanks in large part to a historically bad defense. Washington is hoping to turn things around once Wall returns to the court after his lengthy absence.