After a month of speculation, the Washington Wizards ended running the table and landing their man in Florida’s Bradley Beal. John Wall now has his running mate and the Wizards appear to be step further towards being a viable NBA franchise.
Rapid Reactions from the ESPN crew in Newark, NJ:
Chris Broussard: “He fits in terrifically. They needed a shooter to spread the floor for John Wall to have passing lanes. I like the fact he’s a high character guy. They’ve had a bit of a knucklehead factor in Washington—just to be honest—and that’s why they’ve underachieved. They’ve had a lot of talent. Now, they’ve brought in Nene, they brought in Emeka Okafor, and now you have Bradley Beal. That’s surrounding John Wall with good characters and I think they’re going to be a better team for it.”
Jeff Van Gundy: “[The Wizards development around Wall has] been moderate. I think you have to wait and see because John Wall was not put in a great position to succeed. Chris referenced it—and he was being kind—but they had a huge knucklehead factor. They’ve tried to eliminate that, tried to get better character guys. They have to continue to improve their shooting, because when you have a driving point guard, you need to have the lane opened up. To do that you need to have the requisite shooting. Until he’s given a chance to develop with the right guys around him, both character-wise and playing ability-wise, it’s too early to determine. Now it starts to be on him and he has got to deliver more.”
Jay Bilas: “I think Beal will be a good influence on that entire locker room and a good partner for wall in the backcourt. Beal only shot 34 percent from 3 this last year, but toward the end of the season, he started to shoot the ball the way most people think he’s capable of shooting it. I think he really stretches the floor for them and he’s the type of athlete that can drive a closeout—you closeout to him and he can go by you, and he can score. I like the fact he’s a willing defender and he can rebound at a high rate for a guard. He’ll stick his nose in there and is unafraid.”
[Screen grabs via @jose3030]