Why Bradley Beal was trending after James Harden was traded originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
As long as the Wizards fail to reach the level of play that star shooting guard Bradley Beal deserves, the talented scorer will always be a part of trade rumors. That's especially the case after a blockbuster megadeal sends a couple of other all-star shooting guards to different teams.
When James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday afternoon, the Rockets then sent Caris LeVert to the Indiana Pacers for two-time all-star Victor Oladipo, who's on an expiring contract. With Beal's Wizards currently sporting the third-worst record in the East at 3-8, many fans were quick to point out the undesirable situation.
Even Beal tweeted his reaction to the deal.
Still, Beal has time and again reassured Washington of his desire to stay and be the centerpiece of the franchise moving forward. Unlike other stars like Harden or even Lakers power forward Anthony Davis, Beal has said in the past he doesn't want to force his way out but instead help the team through thick and thin. He made his commitment binding in October 2019, when he signed a max two-year, $72 million extension before the 2019-20 season.
"I hate change. If it happens, it happens. But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C.," Beal said in an article published in The Undefeated. "For me, I am kind of loyal to a fault. I’m kind of like Dame [Damian Lillard] in this realm that it would probably mean so much more to you winning it in Portland or winning it in D.C., because you know you grinding all those years. Then once you eventually come out of that light, I feel like the feeling would be so much grander than necessarily jumping ship. Jumping ship is kind of the easy way out. But at the same time, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win."
That wasn't the first time Beal has had to defend his desire to remain in the nation's capital and build something of his own, and with Harden's apparent change of heart to leave the Rockets on a sour note, it won't be the last.
Still, Beal has expressed frustrations with just how much losing the Wizards have endured. Now, without his starting center and struggling to mesh with an ailing Russell Westbrook, the pressure may be on Washington to appease Beal after seeing how easily Harden forced his way out.
In magical Twitter fashion, of course some talented Photoshop artists imagined what Beal would look like in new threads if another big deal were to go down. From the Lakers to the Heat, fans of teams all over came up with some clean edits. Let's just hope we never have to see these come to fruition.