The Los Angeles Clippers may have tried to pair the Beard with the Claw.
As the Clippers attempted to land a second superstar in hopes of convincing Kawhi Leonard to join them in free agency, they asked the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards about the availability of James Harden and Bradley Beal, respectively, sources told The Athletic's Jovan Buha, Sam Amick, and Shams Charania.
The Clippers, however, were reportedly told that the players weren't on the table.
Los Angeles later opened discussions with the Oklahoma City Thunder after reportedly discovering that Leonard had been recruiting Paul George and persuading the swingman to formally request a trade.
Harden's future in Houston seemed up in the air until the team's blockbuster acquisition of Russell Westbrook from Oklahoma City. When tensions between Harden and then-teammate Chris Paul were said to be "unsalvageable" in mid-June, Harden apparently issued the front office a "him or me" ultimatum, suggesting the team had to part with one of them.
Harden has since publicly denied the supposed rift, but approximately three weeks after the conflict was reported, the Rockets shipped Paul to the Thunder for Westbrook.
Washington, meanwhile, has been adamant for months that Beal is not up for trade.
Owner Ted Leonsis said during the winter that the Wizards weren't moving their star shooting guard despite the team's on-court struggles and John Wall's long-term injury. That position was upheld Monday when general manager Tommy Sheppard confirmed he would offer Beal a three-year, $111-million max extension as soon as he is eligible to sign one on Friday.