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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.