Editors note: This is the fourth in a series examining top prospects in the NBA Draft. Profiles are based on conversations with NBA general managers and scouts.
Perhaps no player will help or hurt his draft stock at the Chicago combine and during individual workouts than Bradley Beal.
Right now, scouts have Beal being selected anywhere from third to seventh in the draft. They love his smoothness and explosiveness, and think hell be an even better perimeter shooter once he gets to the pros.
What concerns them, it seems, is his height -- or more specifically, if hell be able to shoot over taller and at least as athletic defenders in the pros.
Thats where all the pre-draft stuff comes into play.
The first order of business will be to see if Beal is truly 6-foot-3, as listed in the University of Florida media guide. Of course, that may be the result of the Florida athletic department listening to NBA scouts -- who place Beal anywhere from 6-2 to 6-5. So maybe the Gators just decided to stick him somewhere in the middle.
Not really, but you get the idea. No one seems to have an accurate reading on Beals actual height.
Theres a good way to solve that, and thats to measure him, said one NBA scout. Im sure well know in a few weeks.
But does it really matter that much. After all, if a guy can play, what difference does it make?
As for the question if matters, well, yes and no, said another scout. If he really is closer to 6-2, of course there will be some concern. Most (NBA shooting guards) are closer to 6-5 or even 6-7. Except for (New Orleans) Eric Gordon, and I think we can all agree that hes pretty good.
As for the facts, it appears Beal could be, too.
He averaged 14.8 points per game in his lone college season, shooting 45 percent from the field. Most of those attempts came from the perimeter -- although he was only 34 percent beyond the college 3-point arc.
Overly impressive? Hardly. But when it comes to Beal, you have to look beyond the numbers.
For one, the kid is hardly a gun. He more often passes to the open and man, and for a shooting guard, can create as much offense for others as he does himself.
For another, he takes care of the ball, making good decisions and rarely forcing anything. When he keeps the ball, hes athletic enough to get to the rim.
Basically, Beal is the type of talent that can take over in a pinch, but doesnt mind sharing the ball and trying to stroke it from the outside when its hios turn to shoot.
Hes pretty sturdy with a solid frame, and pretty fluid, said a GM. Offensively, I dont think hell have many issues.
That might be another matter, the GM said. Hes not going to be a stopper, and thats OK. But what you dont want him to become a hindrance. Im sure well learn more about that, and other things, once we get closer to the draft and start delving into the individual workouts.
For Beal, thats not so bad.
If hes as good as we think he is, hell do just fun, the GM said. Then no, how he measures wont matter.
Bradley Beal File
Weight: 207 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Date of birth: 6-28-1993 (18 years old)
Hometown: St. Louis
High School: Chaminade Prep
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