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  • Dan Crouch

NBA trade season kicks off as Bradley Beal is traded to Phoenix

Bradley Beal has been traded to the Phoenix Suns after 11 seasons in Washington. Picture: Carolyn Kaster.

The Washington Wizards have agreed to trade star shooting guard Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, and draft capital. The exact details of the deal are still being ironed out, and the trade may even be expanded to include a third team which would send veteran point guard Chris Paul elsewhere, but Beal will be a Phoenix Sun in 2023-24 and beyond.

The deal allows Washington to bottom out and properly rebuild a team which has been trapped in mediocrity, while giving Phoenix the extra piece which they hope will complete their championship puzzle. Beal joins Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in Phoenix as the NBA's newest 'big three'.

The Wizards with Beal won just three playoff series in his 11-year tenure with the team, and none since the 2017 post-season. They will likely be one of the worst teams in the NBA for the foreseeable future as they launch into a long overdue rebuild, but it will give them the opportunity to focus on the development of young players and likely score some valuable top draft picks.

Trading a player of Beal's caliber should, ordinarily, net a trade haul centered around a coveted young prospect or significant draft capital to kick into a rebuild. However, when Beal signed his five-year contract extension which kicked in this last season, it included a no-trade clause which meant Washington couldn't trade him without his approval; this rare contract quirk essentially allowed Beal to choose his trade destination.

Additionally, he also had the power to veto any trade which he felt would leave his new team too short-handed, leaving Washington with no chance of striking a deal which would get them fair value for their star of the last decade.

Phoenix have given up very little for the star guard, with Chris Paul the only relevant asset they are letting go. Paul is 38-years-old and clearly his best basketball and peak athleticism is behind him, but he is still one of the smartest players and best floor generals in the league.

Although he is a shell of the player he was in his prime, Paul's departure leaves Phoenix without a true point guard. His absence will likely lump a lot of the playmaking responsibilities on their star guard Devin Booker unless they make another trade or significant free agent signing.

Booker has shown in the past he is more than capable of thriving as a point guard, and it appears Phoenix may be leaning into that portion of his wide skillset while handing Beal and Durant the majority of the scoring responsibilities.

The Wizards are open to keeping Chris Paul on their team as a leader during their rebuild, but they will work with the veteran point guard to send him to a championship contender if that is his preference.


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