Over the next seven days, we will be posting community projections for each player on the Washington Wizards' roster. We will note some basic information, and from there, we'll ask you guys to project each player's statistics and respond with further expectations of your own. Next up: Bradley Beal.
We all know what Bradley Beal means to this franchise in the future. But the present? That's an interesting question.
The Wizards have purposely avoided handing Beal the starting shooting guard spot right away, partially because of the presence of Jordan Crawford, but also (I suspect) because they want Beal to go out and win it. Given the way Beal's game blends so well with the other projected starters -- he's the Wizards' only capable floor-spacer and secondary ball-handler -- he should start right away. But what good does it do to have Beal just be handed the job? The franchise has gotten plenty of flack for handing prominent roles to undeserving youngsters without making them actually earn it. That won't happen with Beal.
When it's all said and done, we should expect Beal to be one of the team's most important players by the end of the season. But if it doesn't happen in November, there's no reason to fret.
POSITIVES TO BUILD ON: Beal did a really good job of drawing fouls in the summer league, showing off a dimension of his game that most didn't realize he had. If he can carry that over to the NBA, he will be an efficient scorer even when his jump shot isn't working.
AREAS TO IMPROVE: He followed an OK performance shooting the ball in college with a so-so performance shooting the ball in the Summer League. This should be his strength. Eventually, he has to actually show it.
PROJECTED SPOT IN ROTATION: He has to beat out Crawford for the starting shooting guard spot, and I think he will. Assuming that happens, I expect him to play at least 30 minutes a game, barring injury. The Wizards are just too thin at shooting guard for him to be sitting.
OUTLOOK: If Beal can emerge as the Wizards' third-most important player behind John Wall and Nene, this season will have been a huge success. I think he's capable of doing that right off the bat, even at 19.
What are your projected statistics for Beal this season? What are your general expectations for him?