2012 NBA Draft: Why Brad Beal Will Be a Star for Washington Wizards
Every year, the NBA Draft marks the realization of dreams coming true, as well as the beginning of new possibilities for the next generation of basketball stars.
Among this year’s class, the tenure for some players with their new NBA team will be even shorter than their time spent on a college campus, while others will quickly rise to the ranks of the league’s elite and become stars at the NBA level.
The goal for every No. 1 overall pick is to be nothing short of a star, and there hasn’t been a more obvious top prospect in recent memory than this year’s top pick, Anthony Davis. While everything suggests Davis will live up to expectations and become an All-Star at some point in his professional career, the player with the most star potential may have been the third pick in the draft.
The player the Wizards coveted was still on the board when they were on the clock, and it didn’t take Chad Ford to tab Brad Beal as the obvious pick for Washington. After adding the missing piece—Beal—to an already talented backcourt, the future could magical for the Wizards.
Playing alongside former No. 1 overall pick John Wall, on top of being perhaps the player that puts Washington over the top, Beal may be poised for NBA stardom.
1) He Will Get Open Shots
Perhaps not since Ray Allen has the league seen a more natural shooter behind the arc than Brad Beal.
For Beal, open three-pointers are like free throws.
Playing in the same backcourt as penetrating point guard John Wall, Beal will surely get plenty of open looks. When Wall is at his best, he’s using his quickness to get into the lane and either scoring off of the dribble or setting up his teammates.
Beal will immediately be Washington’s best outside shooter, even as a rookie, and he’ll benefit from being a part of a relatively unselfish starting lineup.
After the Wizards traded for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, their new frontcourt combination of Okafor and Nene appears to be one of the most unselfish post duos in the NBA. Okafor’s selfless makeup is more a result of his constant motor and anything-to-win attitude, whereas Nene is one of the best passing big men in basketball.
When the ball goes into the post, the defense is often forced to help. Several defenders are often needed on the ball. When Nene gets the ball near the block, unlike most post players, he keeps his eyes open and his teammates involved.
Beal will surely be the direct beneficiary of numerous “double-downs” with the Wizards.
2) He Will Be a Key Figure in Offensive Sets
After the Wizards traded for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, the only hole remaining on Washington’s starting lineup was at shooting guard alongside John Wall.
Wall is the face of the franchise in Washington, but the majority of his damage is done on the fast break or when he has the ball in his hands and creates for himself. New starting forwards Ariza and Okafor make their presence felt primarily as stingy defenders and/or hustle players, while starting center Nene is a very solid, albeit less than stellar offensive player.
Neither Ariza, Okafor nor Nene will consistently be a part of the Wizards’ offensive attack, but entering the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick, Brad Beal looks like he could immediately be a focal point of Washington’s offense, even as a rookie.
When the team is struggling offensively and in dire need of a basket, instead of opting to isolate Wall, Washington now has another legitimate scoring threat in Beal.
The Wizards could use Beal much like the Celtics have used Ray Allen in the past several years and run their spot-up shooter through a series of off-ball screens in order to create open looks.
Opportunity is often the key for a promising talent to becoming a star in the NBA, and Beal will certainly have plenty of chances with the Wizards.
3) Stars Need Other Stars, and the Wizards Have Wall
Almost every star player in the NBA has another star alongside him.
The same can be said for scoring champion Kevin Durant with Russell Westbrook as his co-star, as well as Kobe Bryant with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the Lakers’ frontcourt. Nearly everywhere you see a legitimate NBA star, you find another one on the same team.
Most of the teams picking in the lottery are low on talent and lacking quality players. In the case of the Charlotte Bobcats, perhaps their best player is Gerald Henderson, who likely would not start for most NBA teams.
However, in the case of the Wizards, John Wall is an up-and-coming star in this league, and Brad Beal could be exactly what both players need to take each other into the ranks of NBA stardom.
With Wall and Beal playing together, the Wizards will not only have an All-SEC backcourt; they’ll also feature a duo that complements each other very well. Wall is better suited attacking the rim, whereas Beal lights-out behind the arc as a spot-up shooter.
Under the lead of their young and talented backcourt, the future of the Wizards looks bright, and the star potential of Beal is promising—to say the least.