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Bradley Beal Named Starting Point Guard for Phoenix Suns

Jan 3, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) passes in the second quarter during game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After trading for Bradley Beal to unite Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on the Phoenix Suns, fans wondered who would facilitate among the talented trio. As of Sunday morning, their question had been answered. Beal is the projected starting point guard under head coach Frank Vogel.

Bradley Beal Named Starting Point Guard for Phoenix Suns

Bradley Beal’s “New” Role

Beal is no stranger to creating opportunities for others, as he showcased his playmaking skills at various points with the Washington Wizards. The six-foot-four guard has averaged 4.3 assists over his career and put up 5.4 dimes per game last season. He tallied a career-high 17 assists to go along with 27 points in a 120-119 loss to the Chicago Bulls to ring in 2022. His talent as a playmaker only adds to his status as a versatile offensive threat.

Beal’s high hoops IQ was needed tremendously when former backcourt partner John Wall went down with a torn Achilles tendon in 2019. That year, he stepped up as one of the lead facilitators and averaged 6.1 assists per game. Two seasons later, a year after the trade that split the duo up for good, Beal put up a career-high 6.6 assists per game. He was also responsible for almost 30% of Washington’s assists that year.

There is no doubt that Beal will be very effective as the Suns’ lead guard next season, especially with two of the best offensive players in the league at his side. He won’t be alone in the ball-handling department, either, as his Wizards teammate Jordan Goodwin will be his backup in Phoenix. Goodwin, a six-foot-three combo guard, averaged 6.6 points and 2.7 assists per game last season while shooting 45% from the field and 32% from deep. Additionally, the Suns have Booker, Durant, Eric Gordon and Saben Lee (two-way contract) to take the pressure off facilitating duties if necessary.

More News from the Valley: Bol Bol and Cam Payne

Beal’s new designation comes amid a flurry of moves made Sunday by general manager James Jones.

The Suns also signed standout center Bol Bol to a one-year contract. The 23-year-old spent last season in a prominent rotation role with the Orlando Magic, averaging 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field. Now, he has been rewarded with an opportunity to play for a title contender, playing behind Deandre Ayton and Drew Eubanks.

Phoenix also moved on from point guard Cam Payne, trading him and a future second-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for a future second-rounder. The deal reportedly gives them about $30 million in tax savings, according to The Athletic. The Spurs, meanwhile, received a proven point guard to back up Tre Jones and who can throw lob passes to Victor Wembanyama

The Suns continued their quest for draft capital by sending a 2026 pick swap to Orlando for three future second-round picks. The Athletic advised, “Expect the Suns to be active in the future to use the new second-rounders for moves to improve the roster.

The Last Word on Bradley Beal and the Suns

The Suns’ array of Sunday morning moves indicates their desire to improve the team behind their big three. Giving Beal the lead facilitator role instead of franchise cornerstone Booker will ultimately open up more opportunities on offense for the trio and the rest of the roster. We are beginning to see the future in Phoenix, and—at least on paper—it appears brighter than the sun.


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