Bradley Beal May Actually be Worth His Contract
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has a brand new five year 127 million dollar contract, and to most people that is absolutely outrageous. To be honest I thought the same thing. How can you give 25 million a year to a guy that hadn’t played more than 63 games in a season since his second year? The Wizards had no problem giving him 19 million a year more than Wall, which under other circumstances would be completely asinine, but Wall received his extension in 2014 which was before the NBA started handing out 75-plus million dollar contracts to average players.
Regardless of the amount of money the Wizards gave Beal he was going to have to prove himself to be worthy of said contract. While I would have been the first person to tell you that there was absolutely zero chance of him living up to 25 million a year, I will also admit that I might have been dead wrong along with a lot of other people.
One problem Beal has had his entire career is that he can’t stay healthy. As mentioned before he hasn’t played more than 63 games since his second year in the league. As a wise man once said the best ability in the NBA is availability, and he’s hardly been available the last three years. Last year alone he only played in 55 games, and he only started in 35 of those games. Normally in a contract year the alarms in the GM’s office start going off, and starts to think maybe I shouldn’t give 25 million a year to a guy that’s missed essentially a third of the team’s games the past two seasons.
Today’s date is March 6th, 2017 and Beal has already played and started more games than he did all of last year, and is on pace to play more games than he did in 2013–2014. But with a player of Beal’s caliber availability is simply not enough. He has to produce in his time on the floor. In my opinion Beal is essentially a shorter DeMar DeRozan, Beal is just a better shooter. Both of them don’t have very good peripheral stats, but they can sure score the ball.
Beal is averaging 23 points, three boards and three assists a game, which doesn’t surprise me because he’s on the floor to do one thing; score. Beal has only had eight games in his entire career where he’s recorded at least 20 points, five boards and five assists.
Compare that to the 36 times DeRozan has done it in his career, and it leaves me wondering if it’s really that hard to get a 20/5/5 game in the NBA now. Coming into this season Beal has also only had four 30-point games; this season alone he has 11 which is a substantial increase and is a reason why he may be worth his contract.
Every team in the NBA needs a shooter and the Wizards have a pretty darn good one in Beal, but he’s barely scratched the surface of his potential. John Wall is a top seven point guard in the league, but every Batman needs a Robin. The Wizards gave Beal all this money so he could take a lot of the pressure off of Wall, and he’s doing a fantastic job of that this season. The Wizards are currently in the three seed, and look like they have a legitimate shot at knocking off the Cavaliers in the playoffs. If they want to accomplish that though, Beal has to continue to live up to his massive contract.