Bradley Beal: ‘I Feel Like I’m a Max Player’

Bradley Beal has never played more than 73 games in a season but the 22-year old feels like his play has earned him a max deal.

Beal, who is a restricted free agent this summer, reiterated that he wants max money and could earn well over $20 million a year depending on how the high the salary cap is set.

By comparison, All-Star teammate John Wall will earn just under $17 million for the ’16-’17 season.

From Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post:

“I want to be valued the right way,” Beal, 22, said from Japan, where he visited as part of a promotional tour for the NBA and attended a playoff viewing party with fans. “I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for. If Washington can’t meet that requirement then I may be thinking elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that they probably won’t [let me go]. At the end of the day, that’s where I want to be. I think a deal will probably get done but you just never know.”


The exact amount for a maximum contract for Beal will depend on the league’s salary cap next season. Initial projections pegged the figure at $90 million – a $20 million jump from last season — but league executives have been using $92 million as the number and it could increase even further. As a four-year veteran, Beal could earn up to 25 percent of the cap. If the cap is $92 million then a max deal would pay him $23 million next season.


Washington offered the 6-4 Beal a contract extension before the NBA’s Nov. 2 deadline for fourth-year players, but it wasn’t the max so Beal declined it and the two sides agreed to wait until the summer. The Wizards’ decision to not give Beal a max extension in October was strategic: By waiting until July, Beal’s cap hold is just over $14 million, as opposed to over $20 million had he been given the max extension. The difference will give Washington more wiggle room in their attempt to lure a top-tier free agent or trade for a high-priced star and fill the remainder of the roster. It is the same strategy the San Antonio Spurs chose with Kawhi Leonard a year ago and the Detroit Pistons are using now with Andre Drummond.


But Beal’s injury-plagued season complicates matters. He played a career-low 55 games and was hindered by another stress injury to his right fibula, his fourth in four professional campaigns.


“I hear about it all time, but that doesn’t define me as a player,” Beal said. “That won’t stop me from growing as a player and it won’t stop me from being who I am. The injury thing, that’s behind me. I’m moving forward. I’m past it. I’m focused on my career from here on out. Hell, Steph Curry was hurt his first four years. Look at him now. John [Wall] was hurt his first three or four years. Look at him now. I’m not worried about it. People are going to say what they want to say. At the end of the day, it’s not going to affect me or the money.”