The Washington Wizards are finalizing a trade to send three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for a package expected to include Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, several second-round picks and a picks swap, sources told ESPN on Sunday.
One of the reasons the deal could take a few days to complete will be to allow the Wizards to field offers to widen the deal to a three-team trade to give Paul the chance to land with a contender, sources told ESPN. Without another trade partner emerging for Paul, the possibility exists of the Wizards and Paul discussing a contract buyout that would allow him to become a free agent.
"This was an extremely complicated process with so many different hurdles to get through, and [Wizards owner] Ted Leonsis and [Wizards president] Michael Winger were unbelievable partners in making this happen," Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told ESPN. "From the day that Ted drafted Brad he has been by our side along with [former general managers] Ernie Grunfeld and Tommy Sheppard. They've always had Brad's back in every way and now we have experienced the exact same thing with Ted and Michael Winger. We are extremely grateful."
Beal is lifting his no-trade clause to accommodate the deal to a Suns franchise that has now realized a top-heavy roster of talent and salary. Beal will join Booker, Durant and Deandre Ayton -- four max contracts together with a looming collective bargaining agreement designed to severely limit the roster flexibility of teams above the second apron of the luxury tax at $179.5 million. It is the ultimate all-in play for the Suns to chase a championship.
The arrival of Beal and the $207 million left on his contract projects the Suns to be a second-apron team for at least the next three years, which will leave them largely reliant on minimum contracts to fill out the roster.
Suns leadership along with the team's key players were relentless in recent days selling Beal on Phoenix as a destination to fulfill his championship hopes, sources said.
Owner Mat Ishbia has made a massive commitment to salary and luxury tax on the Beal and Durant deals to pursue a title in the coming seasons. The Suns will have $163 million in salary committed to Booker, Durant, Beal and Ayton for the 2023-24 season.
Bartelstein worked closely with Winger on navigating a deal with Phoenix in recent days, talks that included conversations with several teams, sources said. Beal's no-trade clause and his remaining contract with the new CBA looming were impediments to the Wizards getting a more robust return.
Unloading the final four years of Beal's contract clears the way for Winger to reshape the roster after the franchise posted losing seasons for five straight years, missing the playoffs in four of them. The Suns had no first-round draft picks available to include in the deal because of the Brooklyn Nets' control of them from the Kevin Durant deal.
After 11 years with the Wizards -- who drafted him No. 3 overall in 2012 -- Beal is nearing 30 years old and agreed with Winger that the franchise is without a quick-fix route to contention.
Once the Beal trade is completed, the Suns will have made two blockbuster trades in the past several months under Ishbia, including the Durant deal.
After completing the first season of a five-year, $251 million contract, Beal's standing as the NBA's only current player to have a no-trade clause negotiated into his deal gave him the ability to control not only possible destinations, but how a potential package to acquire him impacted his new supporting cast.
Beal's no-trade clause will convey with him to the Suns.
Leonsis gave Winger full autonomy on whether he wants to pursue a rebuild with the Wizards or continue a trajectory around high-priced veteran talent. The Wizards are awaiting player-option decisions on forwards Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, who both can become unrestricted free agents.
Beal averaged 23.2 points on a career-best 51% shooting in an injury-plagued season in which he played 50 games. He has averaged 22.1 points in his career -- including 30.5 and 31.3 averages in 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively.