Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal claims it was "shocking" and a "tough pill to swallow" to see his longtime teammate John Wall get traded to the Houston Rockets. This week, the Wizards sent Wall and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round NBA draft pick to the Rockets in an exchange for 2027 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
Wall was taken at No. 1 in the 2010 NBA draft by the Wizards, while the team selected Beal at No. 3 in the 2012 NBA draft. "It was definitely kind of shocking and crazy to see the news the other day," Beal said, per ESPN.
"You understand it's the business of basketball. ... It was a tough pill for me to swallow too, but on the flip side you look at it and see who we are bringing in and the caliber of player in Russ and what he is able to do, former MVP, walking triple-double, he is going to bring a spark to our team and an energy to our city."
Beal doesn't believe Westbrook is a bad teammate
"I think there is a lot of false narratives that people have on him," Beal said of Westbrook. "So I won't put any stock into those things until I get some time with Russ on the floor.
I don't think it will be anything where he comes in and he's like trying to run the show and just do everything by himself. He realizes it's a group effort." Beal, a two-time NBA All Star, believes he and Westbrook will find their chemistry together on the court.
"I don't think it will be any issues," Beal added. "Just the fact that I love to play on the ball a little bit more than in years past may be the only [adjustment], but just him being able to defer to [Paul George], defer to [Kevin Durant], defer to James [Harden] at times, that is going to be the same thing."
Wall visited the Wizards' facility to say one final goodbye and Beal got emotional. "I'm trying not to get emotional now," Beal said of that moment. "It's tough because he's a brother. You realize that relationship was so strong, but it was so crazy because a lot of people tried to break us apart, a lot of people tried to put us apart, put us against each other, and it was always crazy because when we came together and had those conversations, it was the total opposite of what everybody was making and the rumors and the noise."