The Washington Wizards are finishing up a deal that will send Bradley Beal, a three-time All-Star guard, to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, several second-round picks, and a pick swap.
Sources say that Beal is on his way to the Suns to join Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in a new “Big 3.” It could take a few days for the deal to be finalized, but Beal is already on his way there.
Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, who works for Beal’s agent, said that a plan is in place for Beal to join the Suns.
Bartelstein said, “This was a very complicated process with a lot of obstacles to get over, and Ted Leonsis and Michael Winger were great partners in making this happen.” “Ted and [past general managers] Ernie Grunfeld and Tommy Sheppard have been with us since Ted picked Brad in the draft. In everything, they’ve always had Brad’s back, and we’ve seen the same thing with Ted and Michael Winger. We are extremely grateful.”
Beal is getting rid of his no-trade clause to make the deal work for the Suns, who now have a top-heavy squad in terms of both ability and salary. Beal will join Booker, Durant, and Deandre Ayton, who all have max contracts. These four players, along with the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement, will make it hard for teams to change their rosters if they make more than $117 million. It is the Suns’ last, best chance to win the title.
Sources say that the Suns’ leaders and key players have been hard at work over the past few days to convince Beal that Phoenix is the place to be if he wants to win a title.
To try to win a championship in the coming years, owner Mat Ishbia has put a lot of money into the deals for Beal and Durant in terms of pay and luxury tax. For the 2023-2024 season, the Suns will have to pay Booker, Durant, Beal, and Ayton a total of $163 million in salaries.
Sources say that Bartelstein and Winger have been working together on a deal with Phoenix for the past few days. These talks have included chats with several teams. Beal’s “no trade” clause made it harder for Washington to arrange a return on the deal in the marketplace.
The Wizards will get rid of the last four years and $207 million of Beal’s deal. This will make it easier for Winger to change the team’s roster, since the Wizards haven’t made the playoffs in four of the last five years, all of which were losing seasons. Because of the Kevin Durant trade, the Brooklyn Nets were in charge of the Suns’ first-round draft picks, so the Suns couldn’t use them in the deal.
After 11 years with the Wizards, who picked him third overall in 2012, Beal is getting close to 30 years old and agrees with Winger that there is no easy way for the team to get back into contention.
Once the Beal trade is done, the Suns will have made two big moves in the last few months, the first one being the Durant deal and the second one being the Beal trade.
After the first year of his five-year, $251 million contract, Beal was the only NBA player who had a no-trade clause written into his contract. This gave him the power to decide not only where he could go, but also how a possible trade package would affect his new team.
Beal will take his no-trade clause with him to the Suns.
Leonsis gave Winger complete freedom to decide if he wants to rebuild the Wizards or keep going in the same direction with high-priced veteran players. Forwards Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis can both become unrestricted free agents if they choose to pick up their player options.
In 50 games where he was hurt, Beal scored 23.2 points and shot 51%, which was the best of his career. He has averaged 22.1 points over the course of his career, including 30.5 and 31.3 point seasons from 2019 to 2021.