NBA insider Shams Charania spoke (at the 47-second mark) about how despite other interested suitors, one clause in Beal’s contract made the difference in the Wizards’ decision.
“The Phoenix Suns aggressively went after Bradley Beal… Even Kevin Durant and Devin Booker recruited him – This team is all-in on a championship” 🔥@ShamsCharania on #Wizards trading Bradley Beal to #Suns for CP3, Shamet & picks #RunItBack pic.twitter.com/mP6RC3VnUD
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) June 19, 2023
“I think the only way this deal happens is because Bradley Beal has a no-trade clause,” Charania said. “That’s literally the only reason he wound up in Phoenix. So Miami, Milwaukee, Sacramento, there were other teams even besides those, I’m told, that made bids, made offers, and Washington, I’m told, had better offers on the table. But at the end of the day, Bradley Beal got to pick his choice, pick where he wanted to go.”
Beal can definitely put points on the board but has had problems in recent years staying healthy. However, the Suns are looking at making another serious run at an NBA title and believe that Beal is a clear upgrade over the 38-year-old Paul.
The status of Beal had been a continuous question mark for the Wizards, with trade talk often surrounding the superstar.
One interesting aspect of the Beal trade is that the Wizards now appear to be ready to embark on a rebuilding project. After the 2022-23 regular season ended, the team made a major change in its front office by hiring Michael Winger as the new team president.
Beal’s massive remaining contract will now come off Washington’s books. While Paul is set to make at least $30 million in each of the next two seasons, the Wizards could potentially end up paying only $15.8 million of that amount.
That’s because Paul’s deal is only guaranteed $15.8 million for the 2023-24 season and not guaranteed at all for the following season.
Paul is still a viable NBA player, though his recent numbers are below what he was delivering at his peak. This past season, he averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
Other teams, such as the Lakers, have been rumored to be possible landing spots for Paul. Paul reportedly would love to play with close friend LeBron James, and the Lakers appear to be looking to bolster their backcourt depth.
The Wizards’ apparent decision to take less for Beal indicates that they have a plan in place for their future. Rebuilding efforts are often painful, with the wisdom of this approach something that may be looked at down the road.