Bradley Beal says he is no rush to make a decision on his future but acknowledged he is leaning toward re-signing with the Washington Wizards this offseason.
“It’s fair,” Beal told reporters in Washington on Thursday when asked whether he is leaning toward staying with the Wizards. “It’s fair.”
Beal is eligible to sign a five-year, $246 million deal with the Wizards if he declines his player option of $36.4 million for 2022-23.
Washington’s star guard is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. Beal, though, says the injury has allowed him to get a good look at the Wizards and the young players who are getting a bigger opportunity with expanded roles in his absence.
“As crazy as this sounds, this is a blessing in disguise too,” Beal said of his injury. “Because I can see the team, I can see our young guys develop, I can see Coach [Wes Unseld Jr.] continue to develop too. I can see us grow as a team. I don’t have to rush to a decision, I don’t have to rush to anything.”
Beal said he has always had “straightforward communication” with Washington owner Ted Leonsis and team president and general manager Tommy Sheppard.
“Shep, Ted, we are all good,” Beal said. “We know what this summer is.”
Beal said he is excited to see Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline, play once he is cleared from his knee injury.
“He’s ‘The Unicorn,'” Beal said. “He’s definitely unique in a lot of ways. So I am excited to see him on the floor, for sure. He can be special.”
Beal said the biggest factors for his decision to remain a Wizard will be the team fielding a roster that is committed to winning and buying into Unseld’s vision while also remaining an organization committed to the community off the court.
“And obviously winning,” Beal said. “Having a winning environment, a group of guys that are committed to winning, buying into what Coach wants, buying into what the organization needs. Obviously, I play a factor into that too. I have to be better … but being around the group of guys, who want to win and who will buy into what we need to do, that is important.”
Beal, 28, knows what lies ahead of him and the Wizards organization this offseason.
“It’s a big summer,” he said. “And I’m excited for it and Ted and Tommy are too. It’s a big summer.”