Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal declines player option, to become free agent

As expected, Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal has declined his $36.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and is set to hit the NBA free-agent market.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news Wednesday afternoon with Beal facing a deadline later in the day to make his decision.

This comes on the heels of previous reports that Beal would in fact opt out, only to sign with Washington on what would be a record-breaking five-year, $248 million contract. Though, it must be noted that Woj’s report also included a caveat that Beal could end up signing a four-year contract with another team.

Related: Bradley Beal and NBA’s top free agents of 2022

Bradley Beal contract situation and impending free agency

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Jan 25, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) talks with referee Sean Wright (left) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

If Beal were to sign with another team, the most he’d be able to receive is roughly $184 million over four seasons. That would be a surprising decision given recent reports and the fact that he’d leave $64 million on the table.

Washington continues to make moves that suggests it believes Beal will re-sign long-term once free agncy opens. That included acquiring starting point guard Monte Morris in a trade with the Denver Nuggets earlier on Wednesday.

  • Bradley Beal stats (2018-22): 27.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.5 APG, 47% shooting, 35% 3-point

As you can see, Beal is legitimately one of the most-prolific scorers in the NBA today. Despite missing 42 games to injury last season, he continues to prove that.

Other teams have been linked to Beal leading up to free agency. That includes the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in potential sign-and-trade deals. However, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll now re-sign with Washington.

This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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