Exploring why trading Russell Westbrook would be a massive mistake for the Washington Wizards.
The Washington Wizards are far from an ideal spot. Not only do they have to worry about their future and potential foundational building blocks, but they also are tasked with trying to build a win-now team around Bradley Beal. Oh, and there’s also that entire dilemma about Beal’s future. He has one year remaining on his contract before he can opt-out and officially test free agency.
In other words, if there’s going to be a breakdown between the two sides it will likely happen this offseason. One year out before free agency, this is also likely the time when a trade would happen if a Beal one is going to take place.
The Wizards hope that isn’t the case, however. Instead, they’re hoping they can re-sign Beal to another long-term extension soon. Though, at least according to a recent report, Beal is having second thoughts about his future in Washington.
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Interestingly enough, one point of contention this offseason revolves around Russell Westbrook. With the way it’s being reported, it appears that if Westbrook is traded, Beal could want out as well.
Beal is reportedly considering whether to request a trade from the Wizards. A sense around the league is that would be contingent on what Washington does with point guard Russell Westbrook. The source said Beal may consider leaving if the Wizards opt to trade Westbrook this summer. There have been some reports about the Lakers having interest in Westbrook.
At least with Westbrook, the Wizards have made their bed. Short of significantly upgrading the roster this offseason, I’m not sure this team will be able to trade Westbrook and sell the move to Beal as a means of improving the roster without a big “splash” move to follow it.
Washington may have been saying all the right things over the last few months as it pertains to keeping and building around Beal. However, this offseason we’re about to see how much the Wizards value Beal’s future with the team. Actions always speak louder than words, and it’s time for the Wizards to, once again, prove with their actions that they’re committed to Beal and a win-now build.
Because, at least from the optics looking from the outside in, it appears that if the Wizards pull the trigger on a Westbrook trade, it may as well end up being the last straw for Beal.