The remarks made Monday by the president of basketball operations Tommy Shepard seemed to indicate the Wizards don’t hesitate to give Bradley Beal a full maximum salary contract, writes Marc Stein in his latest Substack column. Beal, who missed the final 33 games of the season with a left wrist injury, is eligible for a new five-year contract worth a projected $247 million+.
Stein states that Sheppard had a “boil” when talking about Beal and the possibility of teaming up with him. Kristaps Porzingis next season. Beal is due to make a decision by next week on a $36.4m player option for 2022/23, but it looks like a long-term offer will wait no matter what he does with the deal. option.
Sheppard said Beal can be a franchise centerpiece and notes he’s improved his defense and become more versatile since joining the NBA. He points out that Beal can handle either point from the backcourt, adding: “We have no problem playing Bradley Beal to the leader.”
There are more Steins:
- While the Knicks would like to clear some space before the start of free agency, Stein heard loud rumblings that they are ready to sign Michael Robinson to a new multi-year contract. The fourth-year center is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 72 games, and his minimum wage cap means retaining him won’t complicate any effort to create room for manoeuvre. Stein confirms a report that New York is looking for takers for Alec Burk and Nerlens Christmasin the same way Kemba walkerto make a run at a free agent guard like Jalen Brunson or possibly Kyrie Irving.
- Appearing Monday on Spotify Live, Stein suggested that the Bulls are the most likely destination if the Jazz decide to trade Rudy Gobert. He clarifies that statement in today’s column, saying that Chicago has “permanent reservations” about dealing with Gobert, while the raptors are still a team to watch. Stein adds that Gobert is not considered a safe thing to trade this summer.
- After Kenny Atkinsonthe decision to stay with the Warriorsthe Hornets are always looking for someone with experience as a head coach, such as Mike D’Antonithe other finalist, who must meet the owner Michael Jordan today. Stein suggests family reasons factored into Atkinson’s decision, as did the fact that Golden State was willing to pay him more than assistant coaches usually do.