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Suns Player Preview: Bradley Beal could be the tertiary option the Suns need to win it all

Examining the former All-Star’s fit with his new team.

Phoenix Suns Introduce Bradley Beal - Portraits Photo by Barry Gossage / NBAE via Getty Images

What’s Football? Who’s this Mahomes guy and why are we talking about this sport with something called a “touchdown,” starting today? There’s more important matters at hand: Bradley Beal’s player preview for the upcoming season!

Bradley Beal

Guard, 6’4” 207 pounds, 30-years old


One of the reasons that the Phoenix Suns have such high expectations this season is due to Beal’s offensive brilliance. Going into his 12th season in the association, Beal is in the best spot he’s ever been in to help a team win a championship, something he wanted when it became apparent that Washington was looking to trade him at the start of the offseason.

Despite missing a combined 74 games in the last two seasons, Beal has continued to be a productive scorer. In 50 games last season, the three-time all star averaged 23.2 points per game on 50.6/36.5/84.2 splits. His field goal percentage was the highest of his career and his field goal attempts per game was the lowest since his 2016-2017 campaign. With the Suns being a bona fide tidal contender full of offensive virtuosos, Beal will have many open looks and opportunities to be a productive scorer.

Contract Details

Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract with a no-trade clause with the Wizards in 2022 with a player option for the fifth year. Going into the second year of the mega-deal, the Suns owe Beal $46.7 million for the upcoming season.


Beal is a professional scorer. Anywhere on the court he can break a defense down to get a good look for himself. The University of Florida Alum was only one of 12 players last season to play at least 45 games, average at least 20 points a game, and make at least 50% of their shots from the field.

“I’m super ecstatic that every single day I have a chance to play in a meaningful game,” Bradley Beal said in his introductory press conference with Phoenix in June.

The veteran is eager to win. After being in Washington for 11 years where for the majority of his time the team missed the playoffs, Beal has an opportunity to be playing late into the NBA calendar, with realistic aspirations to make his first career Conference Finals appearance. According to Shams Charania, both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant helped recruit Bradley Beal to waive his no-trade clause to come to the Valley, helping establish a welcoming feeling.

Beal is also a terrific free throw shooter, shooting at least 80% from the line in five straight seasons, late in games Beal will be someone who can be trusted.


Durability, durability, durability. With Kevin Durant only getting older and Devin Booker susceptible to getting banged up from time to time, Beal’s health will be an integral part of the Suns regular season and postseason aspirations. In the last four seasons, Beal only played in 207 of the 308 Wizards games. With Beal turning 30 years old, all eyes will be on his health for the upcoming season.

Recent playoff experience. In the last five seasons, Beal has only made the playoffs once. While a lot of that is not his fault, it is legitimate to wonder how his game will translate come playoff time for a team with high expectations like Phoenix. Can he still deliver in big moments like he did early in his career in the postseason? Only time will tell.

One Key Factor

How he complements Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. According to reports Beal is expected to operate as the Suns point guard to start the year, and in order for the team to dominate the league like they plan on doing, Phoenix’s primary ball handlers will need to be working in unison.

In a way Beal’s job is essentially what Chris Paul’s was this past postseason, capitalize off of the open looks that will be generated by playing alongside some of the best scorers in the game. Due to him being younger and just a naturally better off-ball player, Beal should fit in seamlessly into this role.

Prediction Time

It will take time for Beal to adapt to playing with a new squad, but as the season goes along, amid injury or some other random catastrophe, the three-time all-star will have one of his best seasons towards winning in a long time. I envision a lot of sets where Beal will be able to display his elite shooting abilities alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. While I don’t think he’ll have as strong of a connection with Deandre Ayton as Chris Paul did, I anticipate when Beal is running the offense he makes sure Phoenix’s top interior presence gets some touches. The Suns went all-in this offseason acquiring Bradley Beal this summer, debilitating their future assets and salary cap space, so there’s a lot of pressure for him to perform.

I see Beal being the third leading scorer on this team, averaging something similar to what he did last year with Washington, helping the Suns eclipse 50 wins for the third time in four seasons.

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