NBA Trade: Former Gator star Bradley Beal being traded to Phoenix by Washington, AP source says

FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, the NBA logo is displayed at center court during an NBA first-round playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. NBA training camps open around the league Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020,though on-court sessions will be limited to individual workouts and only for those players who have gotten three negative coronavirus test results back in the last few days. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Bradley Beal will soon be part of the NBA’s newest Big 3, after the three-time All-Star agreed Sunday to be traded to the Phoenix Suns and team up with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in a trio with serious offensive firepower and championship aspirations.

The Suns agreed to send Chris Paul, Landry Shamet and a package of future second-round picks to Washington, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. Some pick swaps will also be part of the trade, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending league approval.

The biggest domino to fall was this: Beal waived his no-trade clause to be sent to the Suns, agent Mark Bartelstein said Sunday. There is a chance that the trade could eventually include a third team, particularly if a club wants to acquire Paul, but the basic framework is done.

ESPN first reported details of the trade.

For Phoenix, a franchise that had a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals against Milwaukee in 2021 before falling in six games, the motivation is obvious — to win a title. The Suns will be different this coming season; Frank Vogel is succeeding the fired Monty Williams (who is now in Detroit) as coach, Paul will no longer be the starting point guard who is still searching for his first championship, and Durant and Booker will have a training camp together for the first time.

It’s also the start of something new, and probably needed, in Washington. The Wizards have finished with a losing record in each of the last five years, missing the playoffs in four of those, and haven’t won a postseason series since 2018. The Wizards will pick eighth in Thursday’s draft, and Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis could decide later this week to become free agents by declining player options — moves that seem likely.

The deal was struck less than a week after Denver topped Miami in the NBA Finals, and with the Heat having also spent the last few days working with the Wizards on the possibility of acquiring Beal.

It also begins a week where Victor Wembanyama will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday by San Antonio — and where more players could be on the move, since trades frequently happen on draft night.

It is the second major acquisition for owner Mat Ishbia in Phoenix. He landed Durant for a massive combination of players and first-round draft picks just days after formally taking over the Suns in February.

There are 12 active players in the NBA with at least 500 games played while averaging at least 22 points per game. Phoenix now has three of them in Beal, Durant and Booker. They will make about $130 million combined next season, meaning the Suns will pay a ransom in salary and tax for this title shot.

Starting with 2017-18 — Beal’s first All-Star season — he’s averaged 26.0 points per game. That’s 10th-best in the NBA over that span.

He’s been an All-Star in three of those six seasons and made All-NBA in 2020-21, when he finished second in the scoring race for the second consecutive year.

Beal is entering the second year of what could be a five-year, $251 million contract; the last of those years is at his option and would pay him $57.1 million. Over the next four years, he’s owed about $207.7 million.


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