Executive Calls $251 Million Suns Star ‘Toxic Debt’ for Phoenix

Bradley Beal

Getty Bradley Beal

The Phoenix Suns not only failed to meet their lofty goals of an NBA championship, but they might be stuck where they are. That’s because Bradley Beal‘s contract is long and will only get more expensive.

Still, an unnamed Eastern Conference executive told Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher that the Suns need to trade Beal a year after they acquired him.

“Taking the swing to acquire him wasn’t without justification,” he told Bucher in a May 4 story. “But Beal is toxic debt now. You have to move on before [Devin Booker] and [Kevin Durant] demand trades, and you lose leverage in the marketplace.”

In his first year with the Suns, Beal finished the second year of a five-year, $251 million contract. Beal originally agreed to that contract with the Washington Wizards before they traded him to the Suns.

Beal’s contract will only get bigger with each passing year. He has a player option for $57.1 million for the 2026-27 season.

While trading him makes sense given the failure of the Suns’ Big Three to advance out of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Beal’s no-trade clause could make it difficult to do so. He gets to decide where he wants to go.

Bradley Beal Praises Frank Vogel

After Beal fouled out of Game 4 in their sweep by the Minnesota Timberwolves, he appeared to reject head coach Frank Vogel’s high five as he jogged off the floor.

However, in his exit interview, Beal showered praise on the Suns coach.

“I think Frank’s a good coach. I think Frank’s a great coach,” Beal told reporters on Monday, April 29. “I think he’s a proven, obviously, winner. That’s not really a question I like answering. I’m not responsible for coaches having jobs. Awesome guy and he’s a great coach.”

He explained that the rejected high five had nothing to do with Vogel.

“I was just frustrated with fouls, and I knew I was coming out. It wasn’t nothing against Coach,” Beal told reporters. “Damn, I’m sorry, that probably did look bad. … It wasn’t nothing towards Coach. There’s nothing there.”

The Suns may fire Vogel this coming offseason, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. If they do, Beal has signaled that he enjoyed playing for him.

Writer Says Bradley Beal Is Suns’ ‘Biggest Regret’

Before the Suns’ elimination, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes explained why he believes trading for Beal should be seen as the Suns’ biggest regret.

“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.

Hughes added that the upcoming consequences of acquiring Beal could be scary for Phoenix long-term.

“Phoenix is bereft of draft capital after giving up four first-round swaps and six second-rounders to get Beal, and it’s still on the hook for the remaining three years and $161 million on his contract after this season. The second apron and all its roster-building hindrances looms this summer.”

The Suns may very well try to trade Beal, but it may not matter.