Lakers Viewed as ‘Best New Fit’ for $251 Million All-NBA Guard

Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Bradley Beal looks to pass.

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ pursuit of a third star to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be one of the biggest storylines of the offseason around the league. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report listed a surprise name in Bradley Beal of the Phoenix Suns, writing that the Lakers are one of three “best new fits.”

Beal, a key piece to a Western Conference rival, averaged 31.3 points in the 20202-21 season. Swartz wrote that the Lakers could use his scoring to help take pressure of James.

“Beal would thrive in a new situation where he gets more shot opportunities and can play alongside a pass-first floor general,” Swartz wrote in his May 8 article exploring five NBA starts on the wrong team. “The Los Angeles Lakers could use Beal’s scoring to help take pressure off LeBron James.”

One hold-up with adding Beal is his no-trade clause in his contract. Beal has the right to veto any trade that he’s a part of.

“Beal’s contract is going to be tough to move, especially because he still has a no-trade clause,” Swartz wrote. “However, the three-time All-Star is still arguably a top-five shooting guard in the league who can help teams in need of scoring.”

Eastern Conference Executive Called Bradley Beal’s Contract ‘Toxic Debt’

Beal’s five-year, $251 million contract, is a hefty price for any team as he has a $50.2 million cap hit during the 2024-25 season. With the new CBA limiting teams, Beal’s contract handcuffed the Phoenix Suns’ ability to add quality role players around their big three.

According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, an Eastern Conference executive believes the Suns “have to move” Beal’s contract.

“Taking the swing to acquire him wasn’t without justification,” the exec said. “But Beal is toxic debt now. You have to move on before Book and KD demand trades and you lose leverage in the market place.”

The contract price and no-trade clause are something the Los Angeles Lakers would have to think about as Beal wasn’t the answer in his first season for the Suns.

Listing every NBA team’s biggest regret this season, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report wrote that the Phoenix’s biggest regret was trading for Beal.

“Anyone who thought adding a third score-first player (at the cost of roster depth and balance) to a team that already had two elite bucket-getters did a lot of self-satisfied nodding as Phoenix posted the NBA’s worst fourth-quarter plus/minus while playing some truly uninspiring “your turn, my turn” offense,” Hughes wrote in an April 16 story.

How Bradley Beal Would Help the Lakers

Beal had the worst season scoring-wise since 2015-16, averaging just 18.2 points per game. However, it was the most efficient scoring season he had in his career in terms of percentages.

Beal’s shots per game were down drastically, taking nearly 10 fewer shots per game than he did when he averaged 31.3 during that 2020-21 season. Despite his shooting attempts taking a hit, he shot 51.3% from the field on 13.9 attempts per game and 43.0% from three-point range on 4.4 attempts per game.

If he can raise his volume to his typical days in Washington, taking more than 19.5 shots and 5.5 three-pointers per game, he could potentially score 25-plus per night.

If the Los Angeles Lakers got the Washington Wizards Beal, they’d be adding one of the top scorers in basketball.

Read More