BREAKING: The Washington Wizards are trading three-time All-Star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, a handful of second-round picks, and multiple pick swaps, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 18, 2023
The New Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks were all among the teams interested in a potential trade for Beal.
DraftKings has Phoenix at +600 to win the 2024 NBA Championship and +330 to win the Western Conference.
Pros and Cons of Acquiring Beal
Beal is one of the top shooting guards in the NBA, and there are several reasons why Phoenix traded for him. Here are some of his strengths as a player that made him an attractive acquisition.
- Scoring ability: Beal is a dynamic scorer who can get a bucket in various ways. He averaged 30 points per game twice during his 11 seasons with Washington and 20+ points in each of his last seven seasons
- Shooting: Beal is an excellent shooter, with an accuracy rate of 37.2 percent on threes and 46% from the field during his career
- Youth: Beal is turning 30 soon, meaning he is still in his prime and has several years of high-level play but has missed 142 regular season games over the past four seasons
- Contract: Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract last summer, which includes a no-trade clause and a 15% trade kicker. While this is a significant amount of money, it also means Phoenix has Beal under contract for several years
Beal is a highly talented player but has some weaknesses in his game. Here are some of his shortcomings as a player:
- Shot distribution: While Beal is a great volume scorer, he shoots too many analytics-unfriendly mid-range jumpers and not enough attempts from the charity stripe
- Passing: Beal’s average passing skills often save him, but he isn’t a playmaker. He needs to significantly improve in that area of his game which will help elevate those around him.
- Defense: Beal’s defensive abilities are limited to grabbing steals and deflecting passes. Whenever he has to lock down a guard on-ball, we often see the offensive player exploit Beal.
- Injury history: Beal hasn’t played 60+ games since the 2018-2019 season and has missed 142 regular season games over the last four seasons.
Beal is second on the Wizards’ all-time scoring list. He brings the buckets to the gym, but he’s a shoot-first defensive liability with an injury history. Trading for Beal was a gamble; if he can play 55-60 regular season games and be healthy for the playoffs, he’ll be well worth the cost to obtain him and his huge contract.
Depth was an issue for Phoenix after they gave up so much to obtain Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns don’t have much to work with to sign bench players, and it will be interesting to see how Suns Head Coach Frank Vogel will build around Beal, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton, and Devin Booker.