The Washington Wizards turned down a trade proposal with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer that would have sent James Harden to Washington, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
The trade would have sent rookie Bradley Beal and second-year forward Chris Singleton to the Thunder.
The trade did not happen reportedly because Wizards owner Ted Leonsis did not want to commit an $80 million deal to Harden.
At this point, a report like this is far from a big deal and who knows exactly how true it is. We do know that Thunder GM Sam Presti really liked Beal around the time of the NBA Draft. There was speculation back then that Presti would have considered dealing Harden for the second pick in the draft to take Beal.
The Thunder of course ended up trading Harden to the Houston Rockets and got in return a pretty good package. Kevin Martin helps them now while a deal with Beal and Singleton wouldn’t have nearly as much.
Getting Beal instead of Jeremy Lamb as the young, future replacement for Harden would have been an upgrade. Beal was selected 3rd overall by the Wizards and is a great outside shooter that would have fit in well alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Singleton also would have been a nice addition. Adding another athletic wing with good size that could potentially be thrown on LeBron James is something the Thunder still need.
The Thunder got a bunch of draft picks from Houston in the trade that actually went down, something they probably couldn’t have hauled back from Washington, especially considering that their owner wasn’t as high on Harden as Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
If you are a Washington fan, you probably are a little mad you didn’t end up with Harden this offseason when it apparently was pretty possible. A duo of Harden and John Wall would have been very potent down the road and would have probably made the Wizards a playoff contender this season.