According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday afternoon, the Washington Wizards are finalizing a trade that’ll send Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet and several second-round picks and pick swaps.
Beal, a three-time All-Star, has been in Washington for his entire career that began when the Wizards selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The 29-year-old Beal was an All-NBA Third-Team selection in 2021. The St. Louis product, who player one year of college ball at the University of Florida, paired with John Wall in Washington’s backcourt to lead the Wizards to four postseason appearances from 2014-2018. They advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Beal played all 82 regular-season games in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. He led the NBA in minutes per game in 2018-19. Beal hasn’t played more than 60 games in each of the last four seasons, though.
In 2020-21, Beal averaged 31.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He only played in 40 games in 2021-22, averaging 23.2 points, 6.6 assists and 4.7 RPG.
In just 50-regular-season games this past year, Beal averaged 23.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3.9 RPG. The Wizards missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years.
Beal will join Kevin Durant and Devin Booker with the Suns, who lost to Denver in the West semifinals last month.
Paul will join the sixth different franchise of his career after spending three seasons with the Suns. The 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 SPG this past year.
If this doesn’t work for Phoenix, it won’t be owner Mat Ishbia’s fault. According to Spotrac, the 2023-24 salaries for Durant (47.7 million), Beal ($46.7M), Booker ($36M) and Deandre Ayton ($32.5M) will eat up $162.9 million of the team’s payroll. The luxury tax threshold is set to be $162 million.
Remember, the Suns sent their 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to Brooklyn to acquire Durant.
It’s unclear whether or not the Wizards will waive Paul for salary-cap purposes, but the Suns are not able to re-sign Paul if he’s released.
According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, Paul could be on his way back to the Clippers in a trade from Washington.
The Westgate SuperBook opened Phoenix with 10/1 odds to win the 2023-24 NBA championship last week. The Suns are now at 6/1 along with the Celtics. Denver is the +550 ‘chalk’ to repeat.