After establishing an impressive performance during the regular season, most people thought that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be the biggest threat to the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors. When the Thunder parted ways with Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook turned themselves into a more explosive duo in the 2018-19 NBA season. Unfortunately, before they even faced the star-studded Warriors, the Thunder fell into the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers, suffering a first-round exit in the Western Conference Playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook undeniably have a strong chance of becoming one of the best tandems in the league. However, in order for the Thunder to become a legitimate title contender, they still need to add at least one more legitimate NBA superstar to their roster. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Thunder next summer is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
“After two years of failing to make it out of the first round, it’s clear the combo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook isn’t enough. Outside shooting is a need for the Thunder, who finished the regular season 22nd overall with a team three-point success rate of 34.8 percent. Beal is a career 38.4 percent shooter from deep and has evolved his offensive game to near superstar status. He won’t come cheaply, of course.”
Bradley Beal misses all-NBA team, shot at supermax https://t.co/BK5VUWUs1G
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) May 23, 2019
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Thunder will be sending Steven Adams, Jerami Grant, Terrance Ferguson, the No. 21 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and a 2021 first-round pick to the Wizards in exchange for Bradley Beal and Dwight Howard. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Bradley Beal will undeniably boost the Thunder’s performance on the offensive end of the floor, giving them another legitimate scoring threat next to Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Having an efficient three-point shooter like Beal will make it easier for Westbrook and George to penetrate the opposing team’s defense. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Beal won’t have a hard time building good chemistry with the Thunder’s two ball-dominant superstars.
Meanwhile, in exchange for Bradley Beal, the Wizards will receive three starting caliber players who could help John Wall bring the team back to the playoffs when he returns from an injury. They will also acquire assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process if ever they finally decide to take a different route.