The Washington Wizards are trading Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster deal that includes Chris Paul heading to Washington, CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter confirmed Sunday. Beal, who signed a five-year, $251 million max extension contract last offseason, has a no-trade clause in his contract that somewhat limited his trade market. However, he ultimately proved willing to waive that no-trade clause to join a contender in the Suns, who also acquired Kevin Durant at last year’s trade deadline and already had superstar Devin Booker in place.
Here are the reported details of the trade:
- Bradley Beal
- Chris Paul
- Landry Shamet
- Multiple second-round picks
- Multiple pick swaps
For the deal to work under the cap, the Wizards will need to guarantee an extra $9 million or so in Paul’s salary, bringing his total guarantee up to around $25 million. For now, the Wizards are reportedly looking for ways to reroute Paul to a contender, with the Los Angeles Clippers emerging as a possible destination, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.
Missing out on Beal were the Miami Heat, the other finalist in negotiations and the reigning Eastern Conference champions. Miami reportedly built a package around the expiring contract of Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson, hoping to keep young guard Tyler Herro out of the deal. Miami could have included up to three first-round picks. Now, they miss out on Beal, and Miami’s focus is reportedly on Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. According to Haynes, there is a genuine belief that this could be the offseason that he asks for a move.
Beal has featured heavily in trade rumors for the past several seasons, but the Wizards have resisted trade overtures out of a desire to remain competitive even when the roster no longer made that feasible. This offseason, however, the Wizards hired Clippers general manager Michael Winger as their new team president, and owner Ted Leonsis gave him the freedom to fully rebuild the roster as he saw fit. It quickly became apparent that trading Beal would be part of Winger’s plan to reshape the Wizards, and Phoenix emerged as a surprise contender for his services.
The Suns already made one blockbuster move in 2023 when they gave up Mikal Bridges and four first-round picks to land Durant at the trade deadline. That deal gave them arguably the best duo in the NBA in Durant and Booker, but deprived them of the depth they needed in the postseason. They were dispatched in six games by the Denver Nuggets in the second round despite incredible individual performances from Durant and Booker in the series.
Phoenix fired coach Monty Williams after that series and replaced him with former Lakers championship coach Frank Vogel. They were expected to have an active offseason as they reshaped the roster around Durant and Booker, but most expected them to emphasize depth around that duo. Few expected them to land another star to pair with them as most of their trade assets went to Brooklyn in the Durant deal. However, Beal’s no-trade clause limited the market just enough to get him to Phoenix.
Now the Suns have one of the most explosive offensive trios in the NBA, but as Durant learned in Brooklyn, that will only take a team so far. Now Phoenix has to build an entire roster around its three stars. It won’t be easy with a new CBA limiting what they can do, but very few teams ever have the top-end talent that the Suns do now. That will put them squarely in the championship picture no matter what happens next.