Is Bradley Beal a Big Upgrade From Chris Paul for the Suns?


Jul 20, 2023

As the new NBA season looms, fans of the Phoenix Suns are bracing for a change. The Suns have made a significant swap, bringing in Bradley Beal and bidding farewell to beloved veteran point guard Chris Paul. This adjustment represents more than just a simple roster change; it signifies a shift in the team’s identity deeply intertwined with the Valley’s resurgence post-COVID.

Phoenix Suns, for many, was the beacon of hope that helped the city navigate through the dark days of the pandemic. With fans unable to attend games, the Suns’ success became a unifying thread for the Valley, culminating in a trip to the NBA finals in 2021. However, their quest for the title ended in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, marking the beginning of an unforeseen downturn.

The Suns’ struggles extended into the following year, with disappointing defeats against Dallas in 2022 and Denver last season. A key setback was Chris Paul’s recurring injury that hampered his performance and, by extension, the team’s playoff hopes. This was incredibly challenging because Paul, known for his demanding approach and capacity to elevate a team, had been instrumental in resurrecting the Suns from a decade-long playoff drought.

Despite the challenges, Paul’s contributions to the Suns should not be underestimated. He deserves recognition for his part in revitalizing the team, and honoring him in the Suns Ring of Honor would be a fitting tribute, especially when he returns with his new team, the Golden State Warriors.

However, Paul’s departure was a necessary shift. As he aged, his influence waned, and the team needed fresh energy to rekindle their championship aspirations. The Suns’ decision to trade for Kevin Durant gives them a new identity and a chance to break away from repetitive strategies that didn’t yield the desired results.

With Durant on board, the Suns aim to increase their pace of play, which wasn’t entirely feasible with Paul at the helm. It remains to be seen how this revamped Suns, led by Beal, Durant, and Devin Booker, will fare in the upcoming season. But one thing is clear: the Phoenix Suns are ready for change, and they hope this new chapter will lead them back to championship contention.

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Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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