How Russell Westbrook Trade Reportedly Would Impact Bradley Beal

Perhaps Beal will stay in Washington after all

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With Russell Westbrook seemingly bound for a Washington Wizards exit, what does the future hold for Bradley Beal?

When rumors of a Westbrook-to-the-Los Angeles Lakers trade first cropped up Thursday afternoon, many immediately assumed Beal’s fate had been sealed. The Wizards guard has been a subject of rampant trade speculation in recent weeks, though he reportedly was on the fence about actually asking out.

Well, not so fast. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski offered interesting context amid the trade chatter.

“This is a trade Washington wants to make with Bradley Beal in mind, creating some salary cap flexibility for the future to add talent around him, sources tell ESPN,” he tweeted. “The idea of returning to his Los Angeles roots has been appealing to Westbrook.”

Of course, Washington’s efforts would not preclude Beal from forcing his way out of town. Should the 28-year-old eventually request a trade, the Boston Celtics reportedly are one of his preferred destinations.

Beal is coming of a career-best season in which he averaged 31.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He shot 49 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

He is one of the best players in the NBA, and singlehandedly could alter the balance of power in either conference.

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