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.