Suns acquire Wizards star Bradley Beal for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet

Jun 18, 2023, 1:36 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2023, 11:11 am

Bradley Beal traded to Suns...

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against Landry Shamet #14 of the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on December 16, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards agreed to a trade that sends three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal to the Valley to play with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant on Sunday.

The Suns will include guards Chris Paul, Landry Shamet and multiple second-round picks to the Wizards but held on to center Deandre Ayton.

Additionally, Phoenix will receive guard Jordan Goodwin and forward Isaiah Todd in the deal. It’s yet to be completed as the teams determine whether Paul can be rerouted elsewhere if a third team joins the current framework.

Beal had a no-trade clause that he waived to join the Suns.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bradley, Jordan and Isaiah to the Phoenix Suns as we continue to build one of the premier organizations in all of sports,” Suns owner Mat Ishbia said in a press release.

“Bradley Beal is one of the best players in the NBA and brings so much to our team including incredible work ethic, great character, and the mindset of a champion. Jordan and Isaiah add talent and versatility to our roster that will continue to make this team among the league’s best. We are committed to bringing an NBA championship to Phoenix and I could not be more excited about how this organization is coming together heading into the upcoming season.”

“This was an extremely complicated process with so many different hurdles to get through and Ted Leonsis and Michael Winger were unbelievable partners in making this happen,” Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports confirmed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Saturday that the Suns and Miami Heat were in serious talks with Washington to add the veteran guard.

The Suns are set to have four contracts worth over $30 million next season unless they make another deal.

Beal will make $46,741,590 this upcoming season at 30 years old after signing a five-year, $251,019,650 contract with Washington.

That will be the highest cap hit on the team. Beal, Durant and Booker are all set to earn more than $50 million each the following two years.

The salary cap for next season is projected at $134 million with $162 million as the tax level. The new collective bargaining agreement, which will be in place July 1, includes two spending aprons that set restrictions on building rosters and tax punishments. The first is at $169 million for 2023-24 and the next at $179.5 million.

On the court, Beal has been one of the NBA’s top volume scorers at 27 points per game over the last five years and is a career 37.2% three-point shooter.

He reached a career high at 31.3 points per game in 2020-21 to make All-NBA third team.

Beal has spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Washington, but injuries have impacted his tenure.

He’s played in 90 games over the past two years and has not surpassed 60 contests since 2018-19.

Beal was teammates with Booker and Durant on Team USA ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, although the newest Sun was unable to play while in health and safety protocols.

Another connection is that Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein is the son of Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein.

Paul’s Suns tenure ends after three seasons. He was set to make $30.8 million if he is retained past the June 28 deadline, by which the Suns could have waived him to save about $15 million.

The future Hall of Famer has another $30 million nonguaranteed for 2024-25 left on his contract.

Phoenix traded for him ahead of the 2020-21 season, just after its 8-0 run in the NBA Bubble. Paul earned All-NBA second team honors in his first season with the Suns and played a major role in the NBA Finals run.

Paul said earlier in June he wanted to remain in Phoenix as his future was in flux.

“Absolutely. I don’t want to be anywhere else. That was never the case. But I understand the business of this league, the dynamics,” he told 12News’ Cam Cox on June 16.

The 38-year-old point guard averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists per game last season, but for the third year in a row, his playoff run was marred by injuries.

Paul battled COVID-19, shoulder and wrist injuries in the 2021 NBA Finals run. In 2021-22, it was revealed a quad injury limited him as his play dropped off in the middle of the postseason.

And this past year, he ended the Suns’ Western Conference Semifinals run on the bench for four games with a groin injury as the Denver Nuggets dropped Phoenix on their way to an NBA title.

At exit interviews, Paul suggested he was very much interested in continuing his career, adding that playing off the ball more in 2022-23 was a welcome part of his career evolution.

“It was cool. I’m going to tell you, you don’t play 18 years in this league at a high level and not understand how to adjust and adapt with the game,” he said. “I’ve been in this NBA a lot longer than some people who been covering it. I remember when the game ended in 80-85 scores.”

On June 7, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported Paul was told he’d be released, but additional reports confirmed that Phoenix was still considering how many manage his contract.

Shamet was highly criticized after signing a four-year, $42 million before he every played a game in Phoenix.

He was thrust in to the starting lineup in the Game 6 elimination contest against the Denver Nuggets and responded to the calls, improving his shooting numbers from the regular season to the playoffs from 37% to 41% from the field and 37% to 40% from 3-point range.

He averaged 8.4 points per game on 38.7% shooting, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in two seasons in the Valley.

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