the beal deal

word around d.c. is that the wizards are expected to offer bradley beal a max deal this summer. the contract would pay the four-year swingman around $22 million next year, way more money than he’s earned to this point in his career. he’ll only be 23 years old next season, but he’s only shown the type of potential that frustrates a fanbase. he goes on streaks of games that cause conversations of ‘the best backcourt in the league.’ then, he’ll miss a third of the season to injury like he did last year. he’s never averaged more than 18 points in a season, and he’s only played in 247 of a possible 328 regular season games. and still, with all that said, offering him a max deal is the right decision.

his talent is tantalizing. if he can ever string together a full season of consistent, solid play, he can be one of the top three shooting guards for years to come. his shooting form is as pure as they come and for all of his injuries, he’s never shot under 38 percent from three. in fact, only six players who have attempted at least 1,000 three pointers over the last four years have shot better than beal. he needs to become a better free-throw shooter, as 78 percent is disappointing for such a good shooter, but it still isn’t bad. his ball handling and decision making have drastically improved since his rookie year, and his overall field goal percentage has increased each season.

if the wizards don’t offer beal a max deal, another team will. even if he never lives up to his all-star potential, he’ll be a good player for years to come – as long as he can stay healthy. it’s not a matter of if washington will put the money on the table, it’s a matter of when, as it should be.

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