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Wizards-Hornets Trade Increases Likelihood Washington Will Select Bradley Beal In 2012 NBA Draft

The Washington Wizards swapped Rashard Lewis and a second round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft for a couple of probable frontcourt starters on Wednesday, adding Emeka Okefor and Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets. They should slot into the Wizards' starting five alongside Nene next season if the team doesn't make any more big moves.

They already have one other starter set in point guard John Wall, leaving a gaping hole at shooting guard. Most pegged the Wizards to take whichever one of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson didn't go to the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 2 overall, but they might be taking a player for need instead of taking the player that most analysts believe is the best player available.

Florida Gators shooting guard Bradley Beal is a lottery lock and a top-5 talent in the eyes of many, and he could be headed to Washington as a result of Wednesday's trade. If the Wizards don't have a large gap between Beal and the other available players on their draft board, it makes sense, but many are going to see the selection as a reach for need if it does happen.

For more on the Wizards, head over to Bullets Forever and SB Nation DC. For more on the upcoming NBA Draft, stick with SB Nation's NBA Draft page.