Bulls vs. Wizards: Young Guns to Watch in Preseason Tilt
For varying reasons, both teams are expecting to be much better than they were a year ago. Chicago is once again taking to the floor with former MVP Derrick Rose in the fold, and the Wizards are hoping that their promising young core continues to develop.
Both teams have a handful of unproven talent on their rosters, so heading into this exhibition clash, here's a look at the top young guns to watch out for in Rio.
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft, Bradley Beal entered the league as one of the game's most promising young prospects, and as a rookie, he certainly didn't disappoint.
Health was a persistent issue with the former Florida Gators sharpshooter, but overall, Beal demonstrated all the abilities that made him one of the hottest players in college basketball two years ago.
An All-Rookie First Team selection last season, Beal's 13.9 points per game and .386 mark from behind the arc were impressive, but he's capable of much more, especially once he and John Wall have time to develop more chemistry.
Beal's got to get into a rhythm during the preseason because the Wizards' ability to sneak up on the rest of the conference and grab a postseason berth will depend on Wall, Beal and 2013 No. 3 pick Otto Porter and whether they can coexist effectively.
After a solid freshman season as part of the 2012 national champion Kentucky Wildcats, the Bulls took Marquis Teague with the 29th pick in the draft that year.
One season into his NBA career, it looks as if Teague may have wanted to stay at Kentucky for another year or two. After starting all 40 games for John Calipari's team, he saw just over eight minutes a night for the Bulls in 2012-13.
But he's still got the potential to be an impact player at the NBA level, and his strong showing during summer league play was encouraging. It's far too early to give up on the 20-year-old guard.
That being said, he probably won't see the floor much more this season, especially with Rose back in the fold, but that may be the best thing for his development in the long run.
As the Bulls' first-rounder this year, Tony Snell is undoubtedly a prized asset in Chicago, but as was the case with Teague last season, the team's impressive amount of depth will likely mean that the rangy shooting guard doesn't see much of the floor in 2013-14.
And, as stated above, that's probably not a bad thing for the former New Mexico standout, because in order for him to be effective at the next level, he's got to work on honing his shot and diversifying his offensive game.
After averaging more than 11 points and six boards a game during summer league play, Snell's clearly got the potential to be a two-way threat in the NBA, so these preseason games will be early auditions for him to show what he's capable of.
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