NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal Likely Wizards' Pick, Harrison Barnes Is Alternative

Mar 18, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal (23) drives against Norfolk State Spartans forward A.J. Robers (45) during the second half in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 NBA Draft is only a week away, and it has become clear that Bradley Beal is the favorite to be the Washington Wizards' selection at No. 3. With the Wizards needing perimeter shooting, Beal fits the description to a T.

In his latest piece updating the status of the top six prospects, ESPN's Chad Ford notes that while the Wizards still like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Wednesday's trade for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor "points them strongly in the direction of Beal. Ford also notes that the Bobcats appear to have Beal slotted lower than many of the other top prospects on their draft board, though Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick suggests otherwise. Ah, the draft.

The most interesting nugget is that Harrison Barnes appears to be the Wizards' backup choice. Via Ford:

Barnes also had a strong workout in Washington on Tuesday. He went against John Shurna and Kris Joseph and by all accounts looked great. I do think he's an option for the Wizards at No. 3 if they decide to pass on Beal or if the Bobcats take Beal at No. 2. The Wizards believe Barnes can play some 2 and desperately need a great shooter.

I'm definitely skeptical of Barnes' ability to play shooting guard, but as backup plans go, he makes sense.

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