Basketball / NBA

Wizards lock up All-Star Bradley Beal with $72 million extension

Reuters

Bradley Beal committed to the Washington Wizards, ending a months-long negotiation while keeping options to hit free agency in the near future on the table for the coveted All-Star guard.

“Bradley embodies the type of high-character, team-first player that we want to have representing our fans and our city and we’re very happy to sign him to this extension,” said Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

The team did not release contract figures, but ESPN first reported Thursday that Beal and the Wizards had a two-year, $72 million deal in place. The deal also includes a player option for 2022-23 that would prohibit Beal from hitting free agency for three more seasons and brings the total value of his contract to almost $130 million over the next four years.

However, there is incentive to decline the option for the 26-year-old, as he can re-sign with the Wizards for an NBA-record $266 million over five years. In free agency, Beal, the third overall pick in 2012, would be able to sign for a maximum of four years, $198 million. If traded during the course of the deal, Beal would receive a 15 percent trade kicker.

In other NBA news, New Orleans Pelicans rookie standout Zion Williamson will miss the club’s preseason finale because of right knee soreness, the team announced.

Williamson didn’t travel with the team for Friday’s road game against the New York Knicks. Williamson stayed behind to undergo further testing on the knee.

The Pelicans didn’t list a timetable for his return. New Orleans opens the regular season Tuesday with a visit to the Toronto Raptors.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers announced they have exercised the 2020-21 option on forward Kyle Kuzma’s contract. He will reportedly earn $3.56 million that season.

The 24-year-old Kuzma could become a restricted free agent following that season if the two sides don’t reach a long-term deal.

Also, two-time NBA All-Star forward Luol Deng retired after signing a one-day contract with the Chicago Bulls.

The South Sudan native played the first nine-plus seasons of his 15-year career in Chicago, followed by stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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