#3: Bradley Beal
Draft placement: 3
College: University of Florida
NBA team: Washington Wizards
Position: Shooting Guard
Beal came out of Florida highly touted as the next Ray Allen. At the time of the 2012 draft, there was a colossal debate regarding who would go second; Bradley Beal or Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG drew the honors, thanks to Charlotte’s historically… unfortunate drafting, but Beal would be the one to rise to acclaim. He paired up with John Wall in Washington, eventually averaging the 2nd most points on the team as a rookie.
He may have experienced even more success had his shot creator (the aforementioned Wall) not been injured to start the 2012-2013 season, but that’s not an issue now. With one year of experience under his belt and a severely underrated partner in the backcourt, Beal has exploded onto the scene, averaging 20.6 points per game (though I have to knock him for needing 19 attempts to do so).
I’ll be honest, I almost ranked him higher. Bradley Beal has validated the Ray Allen comparisons by shooting 44% from the arc this season, averaging nearly 3 threes per game. However; the Wizards’ losing record and Beals’ re-injured right fibula (out a minimum of two weeks) capped his potential climb through my rankings. Still, watch out for this guy. We’ve only glimpsed his ceiling as a scorer in this league.
2013-2014 Highlight game: Career high 34 points, 6-8 from deep vs. Oklahoma City Thunder