Bradley Beal or Bust For the Wizards?


With the NBA Draft less than two weeks away, the Washington Wizards have started to prepare workouts and interviews to help determine which top prospect will be wearing a Wizards uniform at the start of the 2012-2013 NBA season.

Among those prospects, several high-profile names have been mentioned as being in the running for the third overall selection. Some of those names include Thomas Robinson from Kansas, Kentucky swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and former Florida Gator, Bradley Beal.

Prior to the unexpected breakout of Kevin Seraphin, most of us here at Wiz of Awes wanted the Wizards to select Thomas Robinson. “T-Rob” is a freak athlete who brings the toughness each team in the NBA needs in order to succeed, especially a team that’s lacking toughness like the Wizards. Robinson has the work ethic to become a great player in the NBA, and with a addition of a mid range jump shot, Robinson could be well on his way to becoming a top player at his position. The only downside to Robinson’s game is his lack of size. Despite his freakish stature, Robinson is often criticized with the notion of not having the ability to perform to the best of his abilities over taller defenders. The Wizards won’t have to worry about that, as they are already deep at the power forward position. Without the emergence of Kevin Seraphin, and possibly even the oft-forgotten Trevor Booker, I could envision Ernie Grunfeld grabbing the Washington D.C. native with the third pick. With all of that being said, I’m not keen on taking valuable playing time from a developing player such as Seraphin, or even a raw prospect like last year’s first-round pick, Jan Vesely.

That brings me to Michael Kidd-Gichrist, who according to Wiz of Awes’ own Umair Khan, is not the answer. The more I watched Kidd-Gilchrist play during the course of the NCAA season, the more I realized how much the Wizards wouldn’t benefit from a guy like him on the roster at this point in their rebuilding process. Don’t get me wrong, the Wizards could definitely use “MKG” on their roster, but not at this stage. What are the two most common phrases heard when examining the positives in Kidd-Gilchrist’s game? “High Motor” and “winner.” Like Umair Khan mentioned, the Wizards already have a player similar to Kidd-Gilchrist on the roster in Chris Singleton, which attributes his game to the same characteristics as Kidd-Gilchrist. Defense is a key factor in both their games, and I’m not sure that the Wizards can afford using such a high lottery pick on a player who strictly prides himself on defense. Not to mention, Kidd-Gilchrist’s shot is completely broken. He only shot 25.5 percent from the college three-point line, which is essentially a mid range jump shot in the NBA. The Wizards can’t afford to rely on players with undeveloped offensive games to get them over the hump. The Wizards are already one of the worst jump shooting teams in the entire league, and waiting on a project like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to develop a decent jump shot would tarnish valuable time in the rebuilding process. I’m sure Kidd-Gilchrist will provide a spark on a team with the right supporting cast, but as of right now, the Wizards do not have that environment. And I’m not ready to give up on Chris Singleton, just yet.

As I mentioned before, the Washington Wizards were 27th in the entire league in three point percentage, shooting a unacceptable 32 percent from beyond the arc.  A player that can drastically help them improve their shooting from everywhere on the court is Florida shooting guard, Bradley Beal. Coming out of Chiminade College Prep School in St. Louis, Beal was compared to some of the greatest guards to ever play the sport of basketball. The most common name heard of when hearing comparisons of Beal, is arguably the greatest shooter of all time, Ray Allen. Although Beal only shot around 33.9 percent from the three-point line, his perimeter skills are a lot better than he showed in his one year at Florida. Beal is the exact type of player the Wizards have been missing for the past several seasons. Though Beal is most credited for his shooting ability beyond the arc, he’s a more dynamic player than advertised. At almost 6-foot-5, the idea that Beal is undersized for his position can be put to rest. Beal is a perfect compliment to John Wall, as both players can greatly benefit from each others’ unique skill sets. Last season, we’ve seen Wall drive to the basket, only to be trapped by the opposing team. That left Wall with only one decision, to kick the ball out to a teammate who is most likely unable to hit the open jump shot. Bradley Beal can fill that void. As he said after his pre-draft workout with Washington on Thursday, via the Washingt Post.

"We did a lot of drills where we had to dribble the ball and pull up and shoot jumpers, so I think I did a pretty good job of that. That’s what I wanted to showcase the most."

Beal can help the Wizards create a shot for himself, which is something the young team so desperately lacked during the course of last season. No longer would the Wizards have to settle for Jordan Crawford pulling up for an impossible shot, just to get a shot off in a possession.

When June 28 comes, let’s hope that Bradley Beal is available at the third overall selection. Better yet, let’s hope the Wizards front office is capable enough of choosing the right prospect between the ones I mentioned.