Thunder like Beal, willing to part with Harden?

Bradley BealJust hours away from the start of the NBA Draft news came swirling out that the Oklahoma City Thunder, who just made the NBA Finals, were interested in trading into the top of the lottery to draft Florida guard Bradley Beal.  In fact, ESPN is reporting that Beal told Henry Abbott that during Wednesday’s media session in New York.

“Beal told Wednesday that Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti told him during an interview in Chicago that he was interested in trying to move up to draft him. The Thunder’s first-round pick isn’t until No. 28.”

The natural reaction would be to say that Oklahoma City is willing to part with James Harden, who is due for a big raise this summer or next, in order to draft Beal who is younger, cheaper and may have a higher ceiling than Harden (though that’s debateable).  He would also allow the Thunder to keep Serge Ibaka without going in to the deep end of the luxury tax.  So on paper it makes sense.  However, today Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy tweeted that while the Thunder really like Beal, they’re not willing to part with Harden. 

Would a deal centered around Serge Ibaka be enough for Charlotte to trade the number two pick to Oklahoma City?  What the hell would they do with all those shooters? And how many blocks per game would the combo of Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo average?  Seems like a long shot, though we do keep hearing Charlotte would love to move the two pick.  San Antonio, Atlanta, Denver and probably every other team in the league seem interested in Beal.  Would a package around Tony Parker be enough to get Beal (if San Antonio’s even willing to do that).  What about Al Horford for the two pick?  Stay with Crossover Chronicles for all the up to date draft coverage.