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Bradley Beal and Devin Booker’s Path to regular season awards in peril

Oct 31, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker #1 on the side lines with guard Bradley Beal #3 during the second quarter at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Just one week into the 2023 NBA season, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker find themselves on a precarious path towards ineligibility for certain regular season awards like MVP or All-NBA.

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These new eligibility rules, introduced by the NBA during the offseason, now demand that players must participate in at least 65 games during the regular season to be considered for honors.

Unfortunately for Beal and Booker, injuries have significantly sidelined them in the early part of the season.

Bradley Beal, acquired by the Suns in June, has yet to step on the court due to a persistent back injury that initially surfaced during preseason.

The timeline for Beal’s return remains uncertain, but he is expected to miss at least two more games.

As for Devin Booker, the Suns’ loyal star has already missed four out of the six games played this season, with the team holding a 1-3 record in those absences.

To maintain his eligibility for any regular season award, Booker can afford to miss no more than 13 additional games, while Beal has a slightly smaller window, with only 11 games left to sit out if he hopes to remain in the running.

Moreover, the Suns are in dire need of their two star players back on the court, considering their less than stellar 2-4 season start and a disheartening three-game losing streak.

While the season is still in its early days, it has not been the promising start that fans anticipated for Phoenix.

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