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Bradley Beal: Florida Star Would Give Washington Wizards Formidable Offense

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators moves the ball against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIDecember 24, 2016

It's Bradley Beal or bust for the Washington Wizards in the 2012 NBA draft.

Thomas Robinson won't work. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist won't work. Harrison Barnes won't work.

The former Florida Gator is the only player in this draft class that would give the Wizards an offensive identity. And no, John Wall careening into the paint isn't an offensive identity.

Flip Saunders/Randy Wittman's Wizards were bad last year, but they weren't deplorable. The team even finished on a high note, winning the final six games of the 2011-2012 season.

There still isn't much of an offense, but drafting Beal would fix that problem.

First and foremost, he's the best pure shooter in this draft. He shot just 34 percent from three in his only collegiate season, but his stroke is the most technically sound that we have seen from a prospect in some time. His quick release and the ability to consistently launch his shot at the apex of his jump have wowed scouts.

His clutch shooting shot him to the top of the draft boards. In his final six games, Beal shot 43 percent from behind the arc.

Beal's consistent shooting makes him the perfect player to add to a Wall-led offense. We all know Wall loves to penetrate, something that will open up the drive-and-kick game between the two.

Beal is adept at finding open space without the ball, so if Wall can find him on the outside, we'll see a scary backcourt combination for years to come.

Washington finished 20th in the league in rebounds last season. Its shooting guards pulled down just 10.5 rebounds per contest combined. 

That's another place that Beal would come in handy. He's a great rebounder for a shooting guard with the strength to box out weaker defenders. On 10 occasions during his freshman year, Beal pulled down double-digit rebounds for the Gators. The only issue is his height, as he is slightly short for a shooting guard.

His ball-handling skills allow him to pull down rebounds and start a break. Drafting Beal would give the Wizards two guards who can rebound and immediately get off and running into the transition game. Both Beal and Wall are faster than the majority of their opponents, which would make for some exciting run-and-gun offense.

Beal's defense will help his offense. His frame and quickness enable him to lock down the perimeter. Wall has the quick hands to steal the ball and start the fast break, too. With the two youngsters at the top of the key, the Wizards are going to get a lot of transition layups.

The positives don't end there for Beal. He's not just a shooter, but a penetrator, too. He's smart enough to know when to take his defender to the rack and unselfish enough to know when to find the open man.

Washington desperately needs to add a young wing player to its starting five, and talents like Beal don't fall into a team's lap too often. Beal may not be the best player available by the time the Wizards draft, but he's the best player for the team.

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