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Wizards Executive Opens Up About Bradley Beal-Suns Trade

Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal waves to Washington Wizards crowd

When Bradley Beal was traded to the Phoenix Suns last year, it was the biggest offseason transaction up to that point.

It didn’t catch anyone off guard. His desire to be on a competitive team was well-documented and the Washington Wizards went 35-47 in back-to-back seasons. Nonetheless, Beal had spent his entire career with the Wizards. It’s not every day that a franchise trades a player who was there for 11 seasons. Especially the face of the franchise.

Will Dawkins Opens Up About Bradley Beal-Suns Trade

On Tuesday, Wizards general manager Will Dawkins made an appearance on Run It Back, addressing the team’s timeline-altering trade. Asked if it was difficult to trade Beal with his no-trade clause, Dawkins denied that it was, saying, “I wouldn’t say it was a complication for us. I would say, once we got there –(Brad’s) great, as you guys know — (we) got an opportunity to sit down and find out what was important to him.”

“When we sat down with Brad and had a conversation with his representation, it was pretty clear the direction we wanted to go, and the direction he wanted to go,” Dawkins continues.

“Brad loves DC,” he adds. “(He) was great for everybody there. But at this time in his career, he probably didn’t make sense for where we wanted to take the team.”

Notably, when Beal made his trade request, the Suns weren’t on his radar as a potential destination.

At the time, the three-time All-Star was angling for a trade to the Miami Heat. Interestingly, Beal may have been in the same position with Miami that he’s in with Phoenix, and not just because neither team made it past the First Round. Although the Heat began the season with Kyle Lowry as their starting point guard, Miami may have moved him in their deal for Beal due to his sizable expiring contract.

If so, that may have led to Beal taking over for Lowry, playing a position that he’s never manned full-time. From high school to now, he’s been a 2-guard. Nonetheless, the Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra have plenty of experience running an offense without a nominal point guard. With that said, Beal may have been more comfortable in that role had he been traded to Miami.

The Last Word on the Bradley Beal Trade

Despite playing out of position, Beal turned in a solid season in 2023-24. In 53 games, he averaged 18.2 points and 5.0 assists per game on a career-high 43.0 percent shooting from 3. In sacrificing scoring opportunities so that Devin Booker and Kevin Durant could feel comfortable with their shot volume, he had more energy to expend defensively. As Suns general manager James Jones confirms Phoenix’s reworked Big 3 will run it back next season, Beal might look even better next season. A full offseason to gel with Booker and Durant could do wonders, especially if there’s better balance among the trio.

In any case, Dawkins was right to move Beal. The Wizards had reached their ceiling with him as the No. 1 option. Yet, they were seemingly unable to acquire a player better than him, limiting their options. With the writing on the wall, Washington has now committed to a rebuild.


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