Bradley Beal and James Harden are two of the best offensive players in the NBA right now, but there was a time when they were close to change paths, with Beal joining the Oklahoma City Thunder and Harden going to Washington to play with the Wizards. Back in 2012, on draft night, that possibility was huge for Beal, but the deal fell apart.
Beal joined Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on ‘All the Smoke’ podcast, where he revealed that the Wizards almost traded him to OKC in exchange for Harden on draft day.
KD/Russ/Beal in OKC
Wall & Harden in DC
Bradley Beal says he was almost traded for James Harden on draft night 🤯
(🎥 All The Smoke ) pic.twitter.com/CCY9VPwUA0
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 25, 2020
“I was sitting in the draft room and my agent said that it was possible I might go to OKC,” said Beal. “I didn’t even work out for OKC, I only worked out for three teams. Washington, Cleveland and Charlotte.”
“OKC was going to trade up to two or three, get me, trade James to Washington for me. I would’ve been in OKC with KD and Russ,” said Beal.
It would’ve been interesting to see how Harden would have fared in Washington and how Beal would’ve managed to play with two monsters like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Beal claimed the deal was really close to being completed, but something changed when everything was almost finished.
“That was a last-minute decision,” said Beal. “It was almost done.”
Imagine what would have happened with the Thunder if they got Beal and how far they would’ve gone in the playoffs with a big 3 of Russ, KD and Bradley. On the other end, it would be good to see how John Wall would’ve played with James Harden in Washington.
We’ll never know and this is an anecdote that will make fans wonder ‘what if’ and nothing else. Right now Harden is the franchise player of the Houston Rockets, while Beal has become the leader of the Wizards in the absence of Wall.