In the days leading up to Thursday’s NBA Draft I will be previewing potential picks for the Cavaliers at #4. Today’s first, and admittedly least likely prospect barring a miracle, is Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Bradley Beal: SG, Florida
- Height: 6’5″/Weight: 200 Lbs./Wingspan: 6’8″/Vertical: 39 in.
- 34.2 minutes per game as a freshman
- 14.8 ppg/6.7 rpg/2.2 apg
- 54.1 2pt%/33.9 3pt%/76.9 ft%
- Best Case Scenario: Ray Allen
- Worst Case Scenario: O.J. Mayo
- Most Likely Scenario: Eric Gordon
Bradley Beal is widely regarded as the best prospect in this year’s draft without a massively hideous uni-brow. His combination of athleticism and sweet shooting touch have pro scouts drooling over his potential as an impact scorer. While he struggled shooting the ball for most of the year at Florida, he turned it on towards the end of the season and played pretty well during an improbable NCAA Tournament run and re-established faith in his potential.
The only real downside for Beal is his size. He’s been listed at around 6’5″ but the general consensus is he is actually closer to 6’3″. This is a huge deal because most NBA shooting guards tend to be in the 6’5″ or 6’6″ range. This lack of size could create matchup problems for the Cavs. By teaming Beal up with Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers would instantly have one of the smaller starting back courts in the league and could be a cause for concern defensively. Despite his reported lack of size though, Beal has shown a willingness to get inside and hit the boards hard.
Offensively however, Beal can fill it up. He can shoot from the outside, particularly from three-point range as well as create his own shot. From an offensive stand point the combination of Irving and Beal could cause nightmares for opposing teams. Both are insanely quick, can create their own shots, and have accurate outside shots. Teaming them up could create a rather impressive drive and kick game for the Cavs on the offensive end of the floor.
In a best case scenario for what Bradley Beal could be, scouts compare him favorably to Ray Allen. That’s a fairly lofty expectation as Ray Allen is slated for the Hall of Fame, but when you think about it, you can see why they would reach that conclusion. The most likely scenario for Beal is Eric Gordon, an undersized shooting guard who can light it up from the outside, but is susceptible to injury. In other words, a quality piece, but more than likely not an elite level, franchise changing type of player. In a worst case scenario, Beal could end up being similar in value to OJ Mayo. A sixth man who was drafted high with a great amount of expectation that was never realized.
Unfortunately, while Beal would be an interesting player to combine with Kyrie Irving, it seems unlikely to happen. Reports are running rampant about the Bobcats being in love with Beal at #2. If for some reason they should pass over Beal, Washington is in prime position to take him at #3. In fact, Washington even made trades last week that all but guarantee Beal won’t slip past #3. If the Cavs really want Bradley Beal, it looks like they’ll have to make a trade up to #2, something they seem more than willing to do if you believe all the rumors that have popped up over the past week.