Bulls vs. Wizards: Young Guns to Watch in Preseason Tilt

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 12, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 13:  Marquis Teague #25 of the Chicago Bulls stands on the court during the game against the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 13, 2013 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Tonight, two of the Eastern Conference's most intriguing teams will face off in Rio de Janeiro as the Bulls and Wizards will continue their preseason schedules with a game in Brazil. 

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. 


Bradley Beal

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. 

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 19: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards smiles during free throws against the Toronto Raptors at the Verizon Center on February 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downl
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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. 


Marquis Teague 

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. 

MIAMI, FL - MAY 8: Marquis Teague #25 of the Chicago Bulls advances the ball against the Miami Heat in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: Us
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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. 


Tony Snell

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. 

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 16:  Tony Snell #20 of the Chicago Bulls drives during NBA Summer League game between the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers on July 16, 2013 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledge
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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.