Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
  • Seven seasons w/Wizards (2012-present)
  • 2x NBA All-Star (2017-18, 2018-19)
  • All-Rookie First Team (2012-13)
  • 488 career games
  • 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game

Bradley Beal may very well go down as the greatest draft pick made by Ernie Grunfeld. Truth be told, that’s not a huge bar to climb. That being said, Beal has been a huge draft steal for the Wizards organization since Washington drafted him No. 3 overall out of Florida back in 2012.

The 2012 NBA Draft was seen as the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. He went No. 1 overall to the then-New Orleans Hornets. Taken in between Davis and Beal at No. 2 by the then-Charlotte Bobcats was Davis’ college teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. While an excellent defender, Kidd-Gilchrist has been nothing short of an offensive liability for the Bobcats/Hornets franchise the entire time. Beal has become arguably the best shooting guard in the Eastern Conference.

Sure, Beal had to play Robin to John Wall’s Batman for his first few years in the league. Of course, Wall was electrifying with the ball in his hands, but rampant injuries have led Beal to take command of this Washington professional hoops team in flux. Though the team struggled this past year, Beal flourished, averaging career highs in all major statistical categories. Simply put, he is a player the Wizards can build around going forward at the 2-guard.

During his first few years in the league out of Florida, Beal struggled to play an 82-game season. He never appeared in more than 73 during his first four years in the NBA. But in the last three years, he has never missed more five games in a season, playing in all 82 the last two campaigns. Talk about taking a huge step up in terms of reliability.

Through seven NBA seasons, Beal has averaged 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He has shot 45.2 percent from the field, 38.4 percent from beyond the arc and 79.8 percent at the charity stripe. At just 25-years old, it seems that Beal is now entering his prime as a two-time NBA All-Star. He might make his first All-NBA team for his contributions to the 2018-19 Wizards.

For Beal to edge out two Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers before his 26th birthday on this all-time list says a ton about what he has done already in Wizards uniform. Not to say he’s Springfield bound just yet, but he looks to be trending in that direction. Regardless, Charlotte foolishly taking a guy who can’t shoot at No. 2 instead of one of the best scoring guards in the East continues to reap benefits in the nation’s capital.