The Washington Wizards will hold media day later this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET from the Entertainment and Sports Arena at Congress Heights. We will be live tweeting the highlights as they happen! In the meantime, there is another news story about how one former guard tried to get Bradley Beal out of town.
According to Bill Oram, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (subscription required), Russell Westbrook tried to convince Beal to request a trade from Washington before the NBA Draft. To be clear, most of the article focused on what set the bar in motion for Westbrook’s trade to L.A.
The summary of The Athletic article was this. NBA insiders did not believe that Westbrook would be traded because the Wizards did not make him available in any trade talks. However, Westbrook got wind that the Lakers were willing to trade Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell for Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings. From that point, along with some other conversations with LeBron James, that set into motion for a draft day deal on July 29. Westbrook called Wizards owner Ted Leonsis to request the trade that day.
That isn’t all of course. Westbrook also tried to convince Beal to request a trade out of Washington in the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft. While Beal has never requested a trade out of Washington, he did support Westbrook’s decision to move.
At the end of the day, this is news, but it isn’t unexpected given that we have seen the end result. However, it is interesting to see that Westbrook apparently believed that Beal and his talents were better used for another team. I can’t disagree, assuming that Beal wants to be part of a championship contender right away. But for now, Beal remains a Wizard, and the team is still looking forward to building on last season’s playoff appearance.