All around the NBA world, it seems that Bradley Beal will be selected third overall in this year’s NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, and why not? The pick makes sense if you think about it.
The Wiz Kids lack outside shooting besides Jordan Crawford and newly acquired small forward Trevor Ariza. Beal brings exactly that. As a freshman, he shot 34% from three, 5% better than what Crawford shot this past season. Another strong attribute that Beal brings to the table is rebounding. For his size, 6-3, Beal averaged 6.5 rebounds a game.
But Beal is not the only option for the Wizards.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from Kentucky is another viable option. The 6-7 forward is a projected top-5 pick and would bring more size to the front court. However, after last week’s trade that brought Emeka Okafor and Ariza to D.C., the Wiz no longer have a strong need for a forward, with Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vessley, Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker in the front court.
These two young phenoms are both linked to the Wizards and would be fine picks, but if either gets drafted second and the Wizards feel that their man is off the board, the team could look to trade their pick.
There has been speculation that the Lakers are interested in trading Pau Gasol to the Wizards for the third pick. Gasol would bring championship experience, great size and a load of talent to the front court. But, as previously mentioned, there is not a huge need to add another forward to the roster, despite the undeniable talent Gasol would bring. The Lakers would also most certainly ask for another draft pick or player for the four-time all-star.
Would the Wizards and Ernie Grunfeld trade away a young player with potential for a proven player at a roster spot with enough players? Should the team make the this trade? Or should the team go ahead and draft Beal if he is still on the board?
Or, as years past, will the Wizards completely screw up again in the draft (passed on Kawhi Leonard last year and passed up on DeJuan Blair a few years back)?
Thursday night will tell a lot about what Ted Leonsis and Grunfeld have planned out for the Wiz Kids. They will either keep rebuilding around John Wall with youth, bring in an all-star veteran who may be reaching the end of his prime, or trade away the pick for essentially nothing.
As a Wizards fan, I’m hoping for Beal.