The NBA is going to hold the draft, free agency and begin training camps around the league all within a two-week span and the sprint-like nature could create the illusion of chaos, no matter what actually goes down this offseason. Everything is going to happen quickly and that could magnify what figures to be a less-eventful free-agent period with no superstars available.
There is no LeBron James on the market like we saw two years ago or a Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant like we saw last summer. If crazy stuff goes down, it will have to come in the form of trades.
But already we are seeing the signs of mayhem with rumors involving James Harden Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. Harden and Westbrook are reportedly unsure about the Rockets' future and could be had in a trade, and Paul is already the subject of direct talks between the Suns and Thunder.
In a way, this could help the Wizards' cause if they choose to maintain the stance they have taken on Bradley Beal, which is to not trade him and instead reunite him with John Wall this season. While they have shown no indication they want to deal Beal, a two-time All-Star, speculation has run rampant externally among fans and the media.
The main reason for that is the theory teams may be more interested than Beal than they would be in another offseason when more stars are available in free agency. With no stars out there to sign, he stands out as an intriguing option, based on purely on the fact he is a star playing for a losing team. Often, those are the guys who get dealt.
Beal, however, has never actually been available in a true sense. And now there are three players, who are also guards, with better resumes and bigger names than his. Harden and Westbrook won recent MVP awards and all three were on the All-NBA team this past season. All three are locks for the Hall of Fame.
Beal is a better player to have than Paul at this point due to his age and contract, and you might even be able to make the same argument about Westbrook. But Harden remains a perennial MVP candidate.
Whatever validity there was to the potential of a Beal trade, the mere idea of it has now been overshadowed significantly. If the Wizards were hoping the rumors would quiet down, now they naturally will fade away into the background until things are settled with more prominent stars. Wizards fans can now watch their Twitter timelines flooded with Photoshops of other players in Lakers and Heat jerseys.
Now, if the Wizards were actually hoping to trade Beal, or considering it, this would represent bad news, as Beal's stock would be lowered particularly if Harden was dangled by Houston. Contenders would look to the Rockets first before calling Washington, given Harden's status as arguably the best offensive player in the game.
But the Wizards have shown no signs they want to trade Beal and, so, they might be able to appreciate these latest rumors, knowing the machine that is social media speculation has turned its attention elsewhere.