Bradley Beal has been the Wizards’ unquestioned leader with John Wall sidelined, but it’s crazy to think that he may not have even been on the team in the first place.
Beal and Wall have been the Wizards’ cornerstone players, and without them, the cupboard would have been quite bare over the past decade or so. Those two can shoot the lights out on any given night, and they bring a level of competitiveness that inspires their teammates.
The Wizards had Beal in their sights from day one, as they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft. That much we know. But what we didn’t, until now, is that Beal was nearly traded to the Thunder for James Harden, which he revealed during an appearance on SHOWTIME’s “All The Smoke.”
“The whole night, I kinda had a feeling I was going 2 or 3,” Beal said, as transcribed by Yardbarker. “We knew AD [Anthony Davis] was going 1. So I already knew I was going to Charlotte or Washington. When we’re sitting in the draft room, sure enough, my agent is tapping me like, ‘It’s possible you might go to OKC.’ ‘Damn, how am I gonna go there? I didn’t even work out for OKC. I only worked out for three teams: Washington, Cleveland, and Charlotte.’
“So the deal was to trade James to Washington, OKC trades up to 2 or 3, get me, trade James to Washington,” Beal continued. “I’d have been in OKC with KD [Kevin Durant] and Russ[ell Westbrook]. It was almost done.”