October 18, 2019 / 2:11 AM / a month ago

NBA notebook: Wizards lock up Beal with $72 million extension

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.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 13, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) prepares to defend in the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“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.

—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.

—The Los Angeles Lakers announced they have exercised the 2020-21 option on forward Kyle Kuzma’s contract.

According to Spotrac, Kuzma will 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.

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

The 6-foot-9 South Sudan native played the first nine-plus seasons of his 15-year career in Chicago, followed by stints with the Miami Heat, Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The seventh overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft out of Duke, Deng made the All-Rookie First Team in 2004-05, the All-Defensive Second Team in 2011-12 and played in back-to-back All-Star Games in 2012 and 2013.

—NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league is ready to deal with the financial consequences of its recent controversies in China, and added that the NBA already has experienced “fairly dramatic” economic fallout.

Speaking at the inaugural Time 100 Health Summit in New York, Silver said that while China has yet to put NBA games back on the country’s airwaves and losses have been substantial, the league will cope with whatever ramifications come from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s Oct. 4 tweet in which he expressed support for Hong Kong resident’s desire for independence.

“I don’t know where we go from here,” Silver told “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts in his first U.S. interview about the league’s conflict with China since he returned home from the country. “The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic.”

— Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic will miss about four weeks with plantar fasciitis, the team announced.

Zizic missed the Cavaliers’ four preseason games because of discomfort and soreness in his left foot. His injury was confirmed after tests at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and an evaluation by the Cavaliers medical staff.

Entering his third season with the Cavs, the 6-foot-11, 254-pound Zizic averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 59 games (25 starts) in 2018-19.

—NBA icon Michael Jordan christened a medical clinic bearing his name, opened with the help of his $7 million donation, in Charlotte, N.C.

The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic has been in operation about three weeks, and more than 300 people have already been seen by staff doctors, social workers and other health-care professionals.

“It’s ... from the heart,” Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, told the crowd gathered at the grand opening about the gift. “I stand here before you as a proud parent, son, obviously a member of this community. ... You see my name, but yet you see a lot of people behind me and the commitment, especially from my mom, about caring for other people and being a part of a community that matters.”

—The Los Angeles Clippers will win the 2019-20 NBA title, 46 percent of league general managers said in the 18th annual NBA.com GM Survey.

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The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard also was selected by GMs as the offseason acquisition most likely to make the biggest impact, and they named him the league’s best small forward.

It’s the first time since 2005 that someone other than LeBron James has gotten the most votes in that category.

—Field Level Media

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