1. Going all-in on Beal
Bradley Beal blossomed into a star in 2017 and has been one of the league’s best scorers ever since. The 6’4 wing has twice averaged over 30 points and six assists per game. He is an elite offensive weapon and former three-time All-Star, but the Suns will regret going all-in to acquire him.
Beal’s defense has been woeful in recent years. He ranked 197th of 250 qualified players in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR last season and was 212th in 2021. The Suns already have two elite offensive weapons and only one ball. Beal feels redundant, and Phoenix lacks a perimeter stopper.
The Wizards made the playoffs just once in the last five years with Beal leading their charge. In 2021, they were bounced by the 76ers in the first round after winning just one game. Young Beal was strong in the postseason playing next to John Wall, but fans have not seen that player in a half-decade.
Injuries have been another problem. Beal has averaged just 51.8 games per season over the last four years.
The Phoenix Suns went all-in on an elite offensive player who struggles to play defense, get his team to the playoffs, and stay healthy. It sounds like a recipe that could haunt them for years to come.