Suns Make Surprise Decision on All-Star Bradley Beal

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Getty Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards.

As the free agency period has reached its final stages, the Phoenix Suns are preparing to enter training camp and gear up for the 2023-24 season. The Suns’ roster will look much different than it did heading into last season. After making a blockbuster trade at the deadline to land All-NBA forward Kevin Durant, they turned around and added another All-Star in the offseason, shooting guard Bradley Beal.

To land Beal, the Suns had to send veteran point guard Chris Paul to the Washington Wizards. But a reverberating effect of that trade was that it left Phoenix devoid of a starting point guard. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Beal will be the starting point guard for the Suns on opening night.

“Bradley Beal will enter the 2023-24 training camp as the Suns’ projected starter at point guard, league sources tell The Athletic,”
Charania wrote on July 16.

“ In a series of moves, Phoenix also traded guard Cam Payne, a second-round draft pick, and cash to the San Antonio Spurs for a future second-round pick, as well as acquired three second-rounders from Orlando for a draft pick swap, per league sources. Expect the Suns to be active in the future to use the new second-rounders for moves to improve the roster.”

Suns Could Employ Multiple Ball Handlers

The Suns’ roster is unorthodox, to say the least. Not only are they heavy at the guard position, but they also have a surplus of ball handlers in general. Frontcourt players such as Kevin Durant and newly acquired free agent big man Bol Bol are more than capable of taking opponents off the dribble.

Charania notes Suns’ head coach Frank Vogel could employ a multiple ball handler attack on offense.

“Suns’ overall rotation will consist of multiple ball-handlers able to initiate the offense, including Beal, Goodwin, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, free-agent acquisition Eric Gordon, and two-way guard Saben Lee,” Charnia tweeted.

Bradley Beal Has Experience as a Distributor

Beal is not traditionally a point guard as the three-time All-Star’s natural position is shooting guard. However, he is not new to playing the role of distributor. He has averaged at least five assists per game in four of the last five seasons.

Beal also had to take on the role of point guard in Washington when his All-Star co-star John Wall missed significant time due to injuries in back-to-back seasons.

Not to mention that Beal played with former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook for one season and was able to learn under his tutelage. When he was officially introduced as a member of the Suns, Beal credited the future Hall of Famer for his development as a player.

“I’ll be pushed. The last time I was around that was Russ. Seeing Russ every single day, his work ethic, his mentality,” Beal said. “That took my game to another level. I think it’ll be the same thing here”

Beal Will undoubtedly face the most pressure of his career when he takes the court for the Suns. Phoenix has retooled and is among the favorites to capture this year’s title. With Beal starting at point guard for the first time in his career, the pressure on him just got heightened.

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