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USA Today via Reuters

Remember the summer of 2023? The Phoenix Suns were the talk of the NBA after acquiring Bradley Beal to join Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, forming a seemingly unstoppable super team. They had the best attack and defense to mount that championship challenge. Fast-forward to May 2024, they hit low. They were knocked out by the Minnesota Timberwolves in round 1 of the playoffs, which was embarrassing considering the amount of star players they had.

Kendrick Perkins, known for his takes on basketball, recently spoke about the Suns’ Big 3. Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. Perkins believes that the ‘Big Three’ era is over and one of them must consider moving. Should the Suns consider breaking up their championship core?

Trading Beal away for flexibility

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Kendrick Perkins made a bold claim. Perkins believes, “Big threes are over with…One of those guys has to go and damn it, it’s not going to be Devin Booker, and it’s not going to be Kevin Durant.” Perkins’ argument is correct. Relying on 3 players isn’t a good thing. Teams like Nuggets, Warriors & Lakers struggle even after having a balanced scoring department and a suffocating defense.

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Perkins’ comments hint that he is indirectly saying that Bradley Beal has to leave. Devin Booker is the homegrown player and Durant is a veteran, with a lot of talent and leadership skills. Bradley Beal is the odd man out because his contract has a no-trade clause. Also, Beal’s contract doesn’t have a full trade clause, meaning he can’t veto all trades. Looking at the situation, traditional trade is unlikely, and the Suns might have to look for a special agreement. The Suns could pay off a portion of Beal’s remaining contract, allowing him to become a free agent. It will open up cap space at some financial cost.

Beyond Beal: Are the ‘Big Three’ Obsolete?

Perkins’ claim about the demise of the ‘Big Three’ is a bold one. While star power remains undeniably crucial, the league’s landscape has undeniably shifted. The Suns, despite their firepower, haven’t looked invincible. Injuries and questions about team fit have plagued them. But the Suns must not look to dismantle the ‘Big Three’. The Suns must surround the ‘Big Three’ with the right players so that they can play effectively and provide the desired results. The Celtics did the same, they provided a proper supporting cast to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and now they are a force to be reckoned with.

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USA Today via Reuters

Throughout the regular season, Durant and Booker averaged 27.1 points per game. And Beal averaged 18.2 points per game. The Suns must look to sign good players on the defensive end. The upcoming pre-season will be interesting for the Suns fans – whether the Suns dismantle the ‘Big Three’ or decide to continue it, or find a middle way with a special agreement. The NBA world will be glued to the Suns’ decisions as they still search for their 1st ever Championship.