Just when dust seemed to settle, Russell Westbrook trade could start Bradley Beal rumors again

Mike Stearman

Just when it seemed Bradley Beal was safe from trade rumors, here come the Oklahoma City Thunder

After trading Paul George, reports indicated Russell Westbrook was available as well. This rumors finally culminated in a shocking deal with the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul and a litany of draft picks. But how does this affect Beal?

In a wide-open Western Conference, president Sam Presti may be inclined to retool on the fly. If that's the case, he could have his sights set on Bradley Beal -- one of the few remaining All-Star types who could be reasonably available.

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Although the Wizards have been adamant about holding on to Beal long-term, the Clippers "Godfather" offer for George proved that every player has a price. If the Thunder offered the Wizards something like a collection of first-round picks and matching salaries, they may at least have to think about it. The Thunder have enough assets to trade for almost anyone in the league.

Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have always had a star player. In such a small market, a long-term rebuild might be the kiss of death. Perhaps trading for Beal and taking a chance on a funky starting five of Paul, Beal, Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Patterson and Steven Adams is their best chance at survival. 

If the Thunder want to hit the "blow it up" button, they're in a position to do that, too. They've got a war chest of draft picks to build for the future, not to mention a foundational piece in Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. All that being said, the Thunder may want to shoot their shot with no clear-cut favorite coming into the season. 

So, Wizards fans, just as it seemed the dust would be settling, don't be surprised if Bradley Beal's name bubbles up on social media in trade rumors once again.

"I always view it as a positive," Beal told NBC Sports Washington this month about hearing his name in reports.

"When many teams want you, you're doing something right. I don't panic about it. I don't worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Like I said I still have two years left (on my deal). It's the business we live in."

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Just when dust seemed to settle, Russell Westbrook trade could start Bradley Beal rumors again originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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