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NBA

Bradley Beal’s Wizards extension: what clauses are in max contract?

Bradley Beal has signed a maximum contract extension that includes allows him to veto trades - a power only enjoyed by the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Update:
Bradley Beal has signed a maximum contract extension that includes allows him to veto trades - a power only enjoyed by the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Kevin C. CoxAFP

Today’s NBA, in which the league is a billion-dollar bonanza with huge TV audiences, has caused a very particular irony to come about: there are many players who amass obscene amounts of millions through their contracts, but some of them are overpaid. The cases of Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Rudy Gobert have already been discussed. But the most eye-catching of all is the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal: a great player, a true star and the key man at a franchise that has bowed to his wishes and demands, and has thrown everything at the 29-year-old. The guard, a prolific scorer, has not only been given a max contract in terms of money. He also gets benefits that only a handful of stars have had throughout history.

Wizards include clause not even given to Jordan

Beal will remain associated with the Wizards for at least five more seasons. He does so after rejecting his player option and going out on the market to re-sign with the only team he’s been with since he arrived in the best league in the world in 2012. And it’s not just the $250 million that he’s going to get in the next five years, but also all the clauses from which he’ll benefit: for starters, a player option in his last year. On top of that, the new contract gives him the chance to veto a trade if his destination doesn’t seem right to him.

This clause is not unheard-of in the NBA, but only a select group of players who have achieved legendary status have enjoyed it. Not even Michael Jordan could count on it in his golden years at the Chicago Bulls. With this contractual provision, the Wizards put Beal on par with LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and John Stockton. All of those players have had it (but didn’t necessarily use it). It’s a list of names that feels well above a player who is an exceptional talent and averaged 23.6 points this year, but exceeded 30 in the previous two. A player who, despite this, will enjoy advantages that only true greats of the NBA have had.

Bradley Beal's new Washington Wizards contract places him alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
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Bradley Beal's new Washington Wizards contract places him alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.Alonzo AdamsUSA TODAY Sports

Beal also handed trade kicker

To be benefit from the veto clause, you need to spend a minimum of eight years in the NBA and four seasons wearing the colours of the same team - both of which are requirements that are fulfilled by Beal, who will also enjoy a further new advantage. He will have a 15% trade kicker: a clause by which the Wizards must pay him a bonus worth 15% of his salary if he is traded. However, this last variable may never actually be triggered, as the amount of money a player receives can never exceed the maximum established by the NBA. So Beal, who has already signed on for the max amount mentioned above, would only receive a bonus if the league’s salary cap rose faster than his annual salary. Either way, it’s a jaw-dropping contract.

See also: What are the best podcasts made by NBA players?

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