March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal (23) shoots the ball against Louisville Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng (10) during the second half in the finals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at US Airways Center. The Cardinals defeated the Gators 72-68. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewickel-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Draft 2012: Washington Wizards Take Bradley Beal, As Expected

St. Louis native Bradley Beal is going pro, and the 2012 NBA Draft rumors suggest he'll be a certain lottery pick.

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Bradley Beal struggles for Wizards in NBA debut

St. Louis prep star Bradley Beal starts and struggles from the field in his NBA regular season debut with the Washington Wizards, who lost 94-84 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Bradley Beal, After A Big Summer Season, In Line For Big Washington Wizards Minutes

The Washington Wizards will have to decide whether Bradley Beal's deserving of a starting role in 2012 after a solid Summer League performance.


2012 NBA Draft Grades: Washington Wizards Fans Like, Maybe Love Bradley Beal

The Washington Wizards were at the mercy of the 2012 NBA Draft gods when the Charlotte Bobcats reportedly shopped their No. 2 pick around, but things fell their way regardless: They got Florida freshman (and St. Louis star) Bradley Beal, and now they can build their team around young point guard John Wall and his new No. 1 option. Draft grades so far from the usual analysts have been positive, but the Wizards' draft grades per the fans at Bullets Forever weren't quite perfect.

The draft as a whole, as of this writing, gets an A or A- from 32%; a B from 51%; a C for 11%; and a D from 1%. There are a lot of variables here--it depends on whether the curve is as high as, say, a contemporary university's, and how much of the hesitance is coming from their other pick, the unknown European Tomas Satoransky. But while the Wizards required a lot of good fortune to get their man in the first place, some fans, at least, would just as soon have seen them miss.


NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal And Ray Allen And Rookie Seasons

Some bad news: Bradley Beal probably isn't as good as Ray Allen was when he left college as a junior as the fifth overall pick back in 1996. Some potentially good news, if you're one of the million 2012 NBA Draft analysts who spent all night comparing the St. Louis native to an all-time-great with more than 2700 three-pointers to his credit. Some possibly good news: Ray Allen wasn't all that great as a rookie, either, so you have some time to waste before your comparisons have to sink or swim on their own merit, instead of the Washington Wizards' wishful thinking.

Back in the 96-97 season Allen was a dangerous three-point shooter, but in volume and effectiveness he hadn't quite hit his peak; moreover, his game inside the three-point arc wasn't nearly as efficient as the one we know now. The Ray Allen you remember, the one who averaged 20-plus points a game while making up to three three-pointers, first showed up in 99-00, when his 3P% shot up to .423 from .356, and his points per game to 22.1 from 17.1.

That was four seasons into the NBA career of a college junior. Beal a college freshman, should be given a few chances before we declare him, uh, not the doppelganger of a sure-fire Hall of Famer, I guess.


2012 NBA Draft Grades: Bradley Beal Scores High For Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards still have a few months to go before they can see whether Bradley Beal and John Wall will click as well as they hope, but the 2012 NBA Draft grade proctors seem to think pretty highly of their work. The not-altogether-accurately named WalterFootball gives the Wizards an A grade for selecting the St. Louis native, noting that this was the best-case scenario for a Wizards team that had acquired Emeka Okafor in anticipation of upgrading their backcourt only to watch as the Charlotte Bobcats shopped the No. 2 pick around for teams interested in trading for Beal.

Instead they took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and for better or worse the unavoidable Ray Allen comparisons Beal's gotten from the instant he was drafted will begin in our nation's capital. As for the rest of the Wizards' draft, WF is cautiously optimistic about their decision to select European guard Tomas Satoransky in the second round, seeing him as a B-grade player they won't have to tap into immediately. As for us, we think he looks like the next Ray Allen.


NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal Sweepstakes End With Washington Wizards At No. 3

Bradley Beal, the top riser in the 2012 NBA Draft lottery, just missed being involved in a draft-day trade that would have seen him go No. 2, temporarily, to the Charlotte Bobcats. Instead he fell all the way to No. 3, where the Washington Wizards, who'd been seen as the likely fit ever since they traded for Emeka Okafor to fill the gaps in their frontcourt, selected him as their scorer of the future, and a nice-looking match to point-guard-of-the-present John Wall.

Beal, who spent a year at the University of Florida after a high school career in St. Louis, has been getting Ray Allen comparisons ever since he began moving up the draft ranks; he began the mock draft season as a late lottery pick, and now he ends it behind only Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist among the top picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Earlier Thursday a number of rumors had suggested the Bobcats were shopping the No. 2 pick to teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets, who wanted to get around the Wizards at the last minute.


NBA Draft 2012: Cleveland Bobcats Take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal Trade Off Table

It looks like the Bradley Beal trade rumors that dominated the hours before the 2012 NBA Draft won't come to pass after all; with the No. 2 pick in the draft the Charlotte Bobcats selected Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, leaving the Chaminade alum to go to the Washington Wizards with the No. 3 overall pick.

Kidd-Gilchrist is an interesting pick, because few see him as a player who could lift the Bobcats out of the dumps immediately. The Bobcats might be taking the route (facetiously, I think) suggested by Basketball Prospectus's Dan Feldman: Take a great complementary player, assume you'll be terrible one more year, and then go back to the lottery with... well, a great complementary player.

He's not Anthony Davis, but the Charlotte Bobcats can't be too dissatisfied with Kidd-Gilchrist; they selected him in lieu of choosing Bradley Beal and then making one of a number of trades that would have gotten them an extra first-rounder, according to some sources.


2012 NBA Draft Trade: Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats Talk Trade For Bradley Beal

A big 2012 NBA Draft trade could be in the offing, and St. Louis-born birthday boy Bradley Beal could be the subject--the Cleveland Cavaliers, who initially hoped they could draft Beal at No. 4, are reportedly talking about trading the No. 4 and other picks to the Charlotte Bobcats for their No. 2 and picks. That would guarantee the Cavs Beal, and give the beleaguered Bobcats a chance to make some better picks while taking the same guy they want at No. 2 at No. 4.

The Bobcats reportedly have no special preference among the non-Anthony-Davis players in the Top 5, which allows them a lot of leverage in making a trade. It's odd, but the Washington Wizards' recently reported desire for Bradley Beal is going to give Michael Jordan's seven-win squad a chance to capitalize on their own lack of weapons; they need everything, so they could draft anybody. But anybody who wants to draft Bradley Beal is going to have to go through them, first.

For more on Beal going into the 2012 NBA Draft, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis.


NBA Draft 2012: Thomas Robinson Ahead Of Bradley Beal In One Expert's Tiers

The 2012 NBA Mock Draft consensus is that Bradley Beal will go to the Washington Wizards with the No. 3 overal pick, but over at Basketball Prospectus Dan Feldman places him in a third tier, behind Anthony Davis alone in tier one and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson in tier two. Beal, then, chosen No. 4 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, fits in a third tier with Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond.

Feldman likes Beal for the Cavaliers, who wanted to choose him before he moved even further beyond them in his rapid lottery climb, because of his rebounding ability, which gives him an edge over Barnes and Drummond for the Cavs. But the more controversial explanation is probably why he likes Kidd-Gilchrist--because he won't be able to push the disastrous Bobcats out of the lottery in his rookie season, like Thomas Robinson might.

He's convinced the Bobcats need to stay in the lottery a while longer--and, well, taking a raw player No. 2 overall is one very particular way to do it. The draft is less than an hour away, so we should know the answer to all these questions very soon.


NBA Mock Draft 2012: As Time Runs Out, Bradley Beal Remains A Mock Washington Wizard

The 2012 NBA Mock Draft season is officially breathing its last, and with time running out on draft day it looks like Bradley Beal will remain a member of the mock-Washington Wizards as time expires. With their final mock draft the folks at SB Nation proper, while recognizing that things get extremely unpredictable after Anthony Davis going No. 1 overall, handed the Charlotte Bobcats the NBA-ready Thomas Robinson and sent Beal to the Wizards with the third overall pick.

That all makes a lot of sense to me; I could see a scenario in which the Bobcats select Bradley Beal, but I'm not sure they're ready to bet everything on a college freshman who wasn't the dominant presence on his own team the year after they won all of seven games.

But I kind of regret it, anyway; I was hoping for a situation in which Beal's failure to be awed by Michael Jordan would become an infuriating NBA offseason meme, ending with a pay-per-view one-on-one game between Jordan, who ends up winning on a series of baseline set-shots, and Beal, who just looks kind of confused the whole time.


NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal Insufficiently Awed By Michael Jordan Meeting

Of all the things I liked about this TrueHoop Q&A with St. Louis native and 2012 NBA Draft lottery mover Bradley Beal, my favorite was probably this weirdly atonal answer to a question about meeting MIchael Jordan during a workout with the Charlotte Bobcats. The answer was clearly supposed to be, "Oh, man--it was incredible. That's Michael Jordan, The Best There Ever Was!" Instead, it was--

It was just a meet and greet. There was nothing too extraordinary about it.

Which is a perfectly valid answer, if not the one I would give. In any case, it's a good thing the press has no reason to hate Bradley Beal. If LeBron James answered a Michael Jordan question like this, Skip Bayless would let out a primal, joyous scream and pay off his mortgage early.

In any case, keep this anecdote handy if Beal ends up playing for the Charlotte Bobcats after the 2012 NBA Draft is finished. I have the inexplicable feeling that we might not have seen the last of it, if some near-deadline sportswriter finds himself in desperate need of a controversy a few months down the line.


NBA Mock Draft 2012: Bradley Beal's Draft Rise Ends Just Behind Anthony Davis

With the draft hours away and noted immovable object Anthony Davis in front of him, it looks like this is the end of St. Louis native Bradley Beal's 2012 NBA Mock Draft rise--which is another way of saying he's gone as far as anybody could possibly have dreamed from his starting position, after the college basketball season, as an undifferentiated lottery mass. That's all the way to No. 2 and the Charlotte Bobcats in what is presumably the final mock lottery, ahead of everyone but Kentucky's shot-blocking monster freshman, who the New Orleans Hornets have had their eye on from the moment the lottery positions were set.

The 7-59 Bobcats are going to be a rough assignment for anybody, but landing there would at least give Beal, who had to defer at times as a freshman, a chance to be an offensive focal point from his first professional minutes. (The Bobcats' leading scorers last year were Gerald Henderson, at 15.1, and Corey Maggette, who shot a terrifying .373 from the field.)

And since it would be almost impossible to manage such a terrible season two years in a row, Beal will be seen as part of the solution no matter what he does as a rookie. So there's that.


NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards Continue Mock Draft Dance

The 2012 NBA Draft is Thursday night, and mock drafts continue to connect erstwhile St. Louis prep star Bradley Beal with the Washington Wizards at No. 3 overall—about as good a position as Beal could have hoped for after coming out of his freshman season with Florida looking like a late-lottery pick. Draft momentum is a crazy thing—a week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers might have looked aggressive going after him with the No. 4 pick; now we're reading stories about how the Cavaliers might miss him without making a trade.

The Wizards, meanwhile, having attempted to solidify their frontcourt with Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, could lock down their young backcourt by pairing Beal with John Wall. It's got to be a pleasant thought, at least, for the Wizards, whose per-game scoring leaders of late have included the likes of Nick Young and post-hibachi Gilbert Arenas.

We'll see what happens on draft day, but leading up to it it's looking like all those suggestions Bradley Beal would be a lottery pick were either selling him short or insufficiently specific about the kind of lottery pick he'd be.

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