Wizards insider: Bradley Beal, Jordan Goodwin should thrive on Suns
Jun 20, 2023, 9:31 AM
Bradley Beal’s departure from the Washington Wizards was a long-time coming from the perspective of their fans.
His albatross contract put Washington in middling purgatory, and getting off it even for an underwhelming trade package signals there’s a chance for a true rebuild.
As for what else the Phoenix Suns will get in the trade that sends picks, Chris Paul and Landry Shamet off the roster, that arguably angered Wizards fans more than losing a still very good star in Beal.
Injury history considered, Beal still has it, though. Wizards beat reporter Josh Robbins from The Athletic told Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports that he believes the 29-year-old should thrive with his new All-Star-caliber teammates.
“Very smart guy, tremendous acceleration to the basket, can really score,” Robbins said. “The three-point shot in recent years has been below standards, although last year he shot 37%. He’s a willing passer. He’s going to be better offensively in Phoenix than he was in Washington, and especially in recent years when he would come off a screen, he’d be met by two guys.
“I imagine he’s just going to love to have the space that’s going to be created by playing next to two elite scorers. I think he’s going to be really good, maybe even great as a scorer.”
Injury concerns are fair. Beal appeared in 90 of 164 possible games in the past two seasons.
Hamstring injuries and a freak torn ligament in his wrist have sidelined Beal of late, and that combined with Devin Booker’s and Kevin Durant’s own injury issues could raise red flags for Phoenix.
But the offensive fit, according to Robbins, shouldn’t be.
Beal’s effective field goal percentage, which accounts for threes being worth more points, jumped from 52% when holding the ball for two or more seconds to 61% on attempts with less than two seconds of touch times, per NBA.com.
It’s about as good as spot-up attempts for Booker (64%) and Durant (63%) this past season.
And then there’s the addition of guard Jordan Goodwin in the trade.
“Jordan Goodwin is a guy who is tough, gritty — he’s got an outstanding feel for the game,” Robbins said. “He’ll defend on-ball. For a 6-foot-2 guy, he rebounds like nobody’s business.
“You asked about mixed feelings in Washington about the trade: When (Goodwin’s inclusion) came out, that came out as a kick in the stomach to Wizards fans, to the point where I find it very difficult why the Wizards would include him. He’s one of the very few player-development successes the Wizards have had in recent years. … He’s going to be a rotation player I think for the Suns. He can be that. I don’t understand why the Wizards traded him.”
Goodwin, 24, appeared in 62 games for Washington last year and shot 45% overall.
He averaged 6.6 points and 2.7 assists per 17.8 minutes a game, and those numbers for the combo guard reflect a player who can fit as a strong decision-maker alongside a star trio of Booker, Durant and Beal.