The Washington Wizards are in the midst of pulling off the first big trade of the 2021 NBA Draft, but not the type of deal many were expecting. After rumors of Bradley Beal potentially wanting out, it is Russell Westbrook that is expected to be on the move.
Westbrook is reportedly heading to the Los Angeles Lakers to join forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In return for the former MVP, the Wizards are expected to receive Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the Lakers' first-round pick in Thursday's draft.
Even though this deal did not involve Beal, it certainly affects him. He is now without the All-Star running make that helped him get the Wizards back into the playoffs.
This move has not changed Beal's outlook on his situation in Washington thus far. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that, as of right now, Beal has no desire to be dealt to a new team.
Multiple contenders have been patiently waiting for Beal to ask out of Washington, one of them being the Sixers. If the All-Star guard ultimately decides to stay put, Daryl Morey will have to shift course.
Beal opting to not be traded likely takes Washington out of the Ben Simmons sweepstakes. Based on reports, Washington was one of the likely landing spots for the three-time All-Star
As the Simmons saga rages on, the list of teams in the mix continues to dwindle. Which begs the question, how will this all end?
Morey continues to set the bar high in trade discussions. He wants a high-level player in exchange for Simmons. Beal was a name many had circled, but it looks like he might not be going anywhere.
It is still early in the offseason. Situations can change in the blink of an eye. Depending on how things play out into the summer, there is still a chance the Beal has a change of heart.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.