There are no guarantees in Bradley Beal the player. There’s also no denying that Beal is a top three — if not top one — NBA Draft target of the Washington Wizards.
So, as reports surface that the Cleveland Cavaliers have theirs sights set on trading up to steal Beal, and that their presumed trading partner, the Charlotte Bobcats, have a new coach going on record saying that trading down from the No. 2 pick “makes a lot of sense,” Wizards fans, at least those in favor of Beal, are starting to hit the panic button.
So, despite reports from ESPN’s Chad Ford that the Cavaliers are hesitant to give up the 24th pick (and that the Wizards themselves may be willing to give up the 32nd pick to ensure their selection of Beal), the latest signs point to Beal being Cleveland’s for the taking. How bad do they want him playing next to Kyrie Irving?
Yesterday on TAI we wondered which player should be the Wizards’ Plan B if Beal is off the board when they pick. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 36.7-percent of the vote barely eked out the 32.3-percent who preferred Harrison Barnes. (BTW, if Washington’s Chris Singleton were drafting for the Wizards, he’d take Barnes over Beal, with Kidd-Gilchrist off the board at No. 2. More on that in the “If I were the general manager…” feature by ESPN The Magazine that asked NBA players to mock draft for their respective teams. Beal went 19th to the Orlando Magic, selected by J.J. Redick, if you must know.)
Still, what are the Wizards to do … Are you thinking of the shooters?
A TrueHoop post via ESPN Stats & Information today drives home the point of just how bad the Wizards were at shooting last season. It includes these nuggets:
- “Despite relying on spot-up jumpers more than any other play type, the Wizards were the third-worst spot-up team. They averaged 0.88 points per spot-up play and shot 36 percent on those shot attempts.”
- “Only four teams averaged fewer points per play this season on pick-and-roll ball-handler plays. The Wizards averaged just 0.72 points per play and shot 37 percent when the ball-handler held onto the ball in pick-and-roll situations.”
- “The Wizards backcourt wasn’t just inefficient in pick-and-roll situations. Among the 40 players with at least 1,000 plays this season, Jordan Crawford ranked 38th and [John] Wall ranked 40th in points per play.”
Beal? Barnes? Kidd-Gilchrist?
I’ve already made the case of who the Wizards should target: Beal. Plan B has been a fish-out-of-water situation — both flipping and flopping. For a brief moment, after the trade, I ranked the Wizards’ draft board as 1) Beal, 2) Barnes, 3) Kidd-Gilchrist — Barnes, after all, was a better 3-point shooter than Beal in college last season, and both are presumed to be eons more refined on offense than Kidd-Gilchrist.
Nonetheless, Barnes scares to crap out of me. To quote an anonymous Wizard from last season: “He’s soft.”
But what do the scouts have to say?
Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis has complied NBA scout comment on prospects, here are the relevant nuggets:
- Beal: “Phenomenal body, good shooter, not an over-the-top athlete but he’s good enough. He’s also a great kid, almost presidential. He’s got a great stroke.”
- Barnes: “His biggest problem is he doesn’t have enough toughness. This is a man’s league and I don’t know for sure if he’s the type of guy who will step on you when you’re down.”
- Kidd-Gilchrist: “He’s not a great shooter, but when guys work that hard, they tend to get better. He’s as athletic as Gerald Wallace, but he’s a better shooter. He needs to work on his shooting and his ballhandling is just average.”
It’s all a mystery wrapped inside of a Chipotle burrito that’s been sitting in Ernie Grunfeld’s office for who knows how long. So, without further ado, the TrueHoop Network 2012 NBA Mock Draft — where, the Wizards do get Bradley Beal, but without the draft night deals that always happen.
So, expect the unexpected. Would you have it any other way, Wizards fans?
TrueHoop Network 2012 NBA Mock Draft (1st Round)
- New Orleans: Anthony Davis (Joe Gerrity, Hornets247.com)
- Charlotte: Thomas Robinson (Spencer Percy, Queen City Hoops)
- Washington: Bradley Beal (Kyle Weidie, Truth About It)
- Cleveland: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Colin McGowan, Cavs: The Blog)
- Sacramento: Harrison Barnes (James Ham, Cowbell Kingdom)
- Portland: Andre Drummond (Sean Highkin, Portland Roundball Society)
- Golden State: Dion Waiters (Rasheed Malek, WarriorsWorld.net)
- Toronto: Jeremy Lamb (Sam Holako, Raptors Republic)
- Detroit: John Henson (Dan Feldman, PistonPowered)
- New Orleans: Damian Lillard (Joe Gerrity, Hornets247.com)
- Portland: Kendall Marshall (Sean Highkin, Portland Roundball Society)
- Milwaukee: Perry Jones III (Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball)
- Phoenix: Terrence Ross (Ryan Weisert, Valley of the Suns)
- Houston: Tyler Zeller (Jared Dubin, Hardwood Paroxysm)
- Philadelphia: Terrence Jones (Carey Smith, Philadunkia)
- Houston: Austin Rivers (Robert Silverman, KnickerBlogger)
- Dallas: Quincy Miller (Connor Huchton, The Two Man Game)
- Minnesota: Meyers Leonard (Steve McPherson, Hardwood Paroxysm)
- Orlando: Tony Wroten (Eddy Rivera, MBN)
- Denver: Andrew Nicholson (Kalen Deremo, Roundball Mining Company)
- Boston: Jared Sullinger (Brendan Jackson, CelticsHub.com)
- Boston: Moe Harkless (Brendan Jackson, CelticsHub.com)
- Atlanta: Royce White (Bret LaGree, Hoopinion)
- Cleveland: Arnett Moultrie (Colin McGowan, Cavs: The Blog)
- Memphis: Fab Melo (Red Coleman, 3sob.com)
- Indiana: Marquis Teague (Tim Donahue, 8p9s)
- Miami: Jeff Taylor (Beckley Mason, HoopSpeak)
- Oklahoma City: Draymond Green (Royce Young, Daily Thunder)
- Chicago: Will Barton (Matt McHale, Bulls by the Horns)
- Golden State: Jared Cunningham (Rasheed Malek, WarriorsWorld.net)