The Bradley Beal trade continues to get worse for the Suns

A risky move continues becoming an abject disaster for Phoenix as time moves on.
Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns
Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, the Phoenix Suns were looked at as having one of the best situations of any team in the NBA. After advancing to the 2021 Finals, it was clear Phoenix had a core of reliable stars and role players that worked well in a playoff environment and could win consistently in the Western Conference. Despite their embarrassing loss in the 2022 conference semifinals, they were still set up exceedingly well for the future.

But all that changed when management decided to make the risky moves of trading for Kevin Durant at the 2023 trade deadline. In theory, it was a brilliant move. Bring in a top-level star that will allow you to effectively speedrun the path to a championship. But instead, that move has only complicated matters in the grand scheme of things.

Getting KD led the Suns to their next big mistake as well. With many of Phoenix's versatile role players like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson out of the picture, the team opted to bring in a third star to put next to Devin Booker and Durant, which ended up being Bradley Beal.

Of course, purely on namesake, this would have been a great addition, much like the KD deal. But what the Suns failed to account for was the intangibles when it comes to Beal. Instead, they fully committed themselves to a flawed and aging star, leaving them to reap the consequences now and for the foreseeable future.

Beal's value only continues to go down

Once one of the best scorers in the game, Beal's acquisition led many within the NBA media sphere wondering if they were a shoo-in to make the Finals in 2024. After all, they had a big three, which was the way many teams won championships in the past decade. The difference, though, was that Phoenix's three stars never made much sense fit-wise next to each other. Even if they had all three been fully healthy all year, it was almost like the Suns had three of the same player out there on the floor.

Instead, Beal suffered from an array of injuries in his first season with the team, and it is apparent his body is not holding up like it once did. On top of that, and arguably the worse issue, is Beal's contract. He is still under contract for two more seasons, and he will be owed north of $103 million over those seasons. That is a gruesome financial burden for a team already employing two other max players to bear.

Even when he has been healthy, it is hard to say Beal has lived up to the gigantic contract he is playing on. In 2023-24, he averaged below 20 points per game in scoring for the first time in eight seasons. As he moves into his 30s, it reasons to say he could be slowing down in terms of overall production.

What makes all of this so frustrating is the fact that Phoenix boldly and confidently invested themselves into Beal last summer. The basketball knowledge of this organization's top executives and decision-makers should be heavily under the microscope right now. The fact they were so willing to make what has become a gradually worsening decision should be of major concern to Suns fans going forward.