Shooting Guard, 6’4″, 202 lbs.
Freshman, University of Florida
18 years old
Bradley Beal Highlights
2011-12 Stats: 14.8 PPG (44.5% FG, 76.9% FT, 33.9% 3FG), 6.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.1 TOPG
STRENGTHS: For an 18-year-old kid, Bradley Beal is mature physically and on the basketball court. Beal shows a great feel for the game and excels in many areas. He’s got an NBA ready body, and he couples it with tremendous athleticism. As a scoring guard, Beal displays near perfect fundamentals shooting the basketball. He’s quick with the dribble and explodes to the rim, making him terrific in transition. Beal proved to be an excellent defender in his lone season at Florida. His quick feet, strong frame and high IQ enable him to stay in front of a variety of offensive players. As an added bonus, Beal may be the best rebounding guard in this class, showing great instincts in reading shots and using his great leaping ability to outjump bigger players.
WEAKNESSES: His shot fundamentals are strong, but he didn’t see the results he would have liked to as a freshman, struggling especially from long-range. It could be an outlier that corrects as he grows, but it is still worth noting. Beal does not yet possess the ball-handling skills to be a combo guard. Improving this area is a must, as it will also help his ability to create off the dribble, another area that needs work.
HOW HE’D FIT WITH THE KINGS: Therein lies a concern. Even at 18, Beal is ready to contribute now. But finding time on a team like the Sacramento Kings, loaded with guards, could be a problem. If Beal is selected, he would be a reserve initially, playing behind Marcus Thornton. A second unit of Jimmer Fredette and Beal likely only works if Terrence Williams returns to play the point forward role. But in any situation, Beal would provide production for the Kings. Many areas the Kings want to improve upon — shooting, defense, rebounding, transition offense — are skills Beal possesses already. He’s a team player who can already do the dirty work and will develop into a legitimate piece in the near future. At that point, Sacramento would have a decision to make between Beal and Thornton. The two can play together in small stretches but Beal is not a small forward and neither can run point. Sliding one into a 6th man role is possible, but projecting down the line, both are starter-quality talents.
APPROVAL: No…UNLESS the Kings plan on moving Tyreke Evans, Thornton or Fredette soon. I absolutely love Beal’s game and think he will be a tremendous pro. And I also understand the “draft the best available player” theory. But stacking up guards will not help this team. If you want to pick Beal and move one of the aforementioned guards for frontcourt help, I’m all for it (if the deal is right). Beal will be ready to contribute quickly. But the roster as constituted would need some quick reconstruction. And Beal might be good enough to clear space for immediately.
WHERE HE GOES: Unsurprisingly, Beal is a legitimate option for every team from Charlotte (2) to Sacramento (5). Beal isn’t even willing to work out for anyone outside of the top four yet, meaning he feels pretty strongly about where he’ll go. Should the unimaginable happen and Beal starts to drop, it’s hard to see Portland at No. 6 passing on an outside complement to LaMarcus Aldridge. The Blazers could then address their point guard or center spots at No. 11.