Restricted free agent Bradley Beal is closing in on an agreement to re-sign with the Washington Wizards on a five-year maximum contract worth at least $128 million depending on the final cap figure, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN's Jeff Goodman. The deal contains no options on either side.
The Wizards will likely officially process Beal's contract after they use their remaining $30 million or so in cap space. Beal's cap hold is for only $14.2 million, significantly less than his first-year salary on his new agreed-upon deal. The Wizards can keep that hold on the books to maximize their cap space, fill it and then come back to finalize Beal's new deal, much like the Spurs did with Kawhi Leonard last year in order to sign LaMarcus Aldridge.
Beal, 23, is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.4 points and connected on 39 percent of his three-point attempts. He did, however, miss 27 games due to various injuries to his right shoulder and leg. Beal has missed at least nine games in each of his four NBA seasons.
When he is on the court, though, Beal has shown himself to be one of the better shooting guards in the league. He's 6'5 and 207 pounds, a career 40 percent three-point shooter and boasts one of the sweetest strokes in the league.
Aside from his inability to stay healthy, the knock on Beal has always been his affinity for midrange jumpers. That said, just 28 percent of his field goal attempts came from the midrange last season (per NBA.com), a nine percent drop-off from the year before. Beal could also grow even more this year under new Wizards head coach Scott Brooks.
Beal became a restricted free agent after he and the Wizards failed to agree to terms on an early contract extension prior to last season's Nov. 2 deadline. The move made sense for the Wizards, who were trying to preserve cap room. As mentioned above, holding off on giving Beal an extension kept his smaller cap hold on the books; Washington could then sign other players with their cap space and later use its Bird Rights on Beal to go over the cap in order to re-sign him.
Had he wanted, Beal could have signed an offer sheet with a different team, which the Wizards would have been allowed to match. But only Washington could offer Beal a fifth year, and so he quickly decided to come back to D.C.