Our 2012-13 player evaluations continue. This time, we profile Bradley Beal.
Basic stats: 13.9 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 39% three point field goal percentage, 13.6 player efficiency rating.
Contract status: Signed for about four million dollars per season through the end of 2014, with team options for the following two years at 4.5 and 5.7 million dollars per season.
Preseason expectations: The third pick in the draft, Beal was expected to start at shooting guard and to provide above average shooting and rebounding while adjusting to the NBA.
Offense: Beal had a solid campaign overall, but it really was a tale of two seasons. During the first two months of the season he was bad, largely due to a propensity to take and miss long two pointers. Once his shots started falling things predictably turned around a bit. And once John Wall came back, things turned around a lot.
Bradley Beal, Shot Selection and Field Goal Percentage, With and Without John Wall
|Wall On Court|
|In The Paint (Non-RA)||5||12||41.70%||7.10%|
|Above the Break 3||15||37||40.50%||21.80%|
|Wall Off Court|
|In The Paint (Non-RA)||10||33||30.30%||6.40%|
|Above the Break 3||30||107||28.00%||20.70%|
Data courtesy of NBA.com/stats
Beal made 34% of his three pointers without Wall versus 50% when sharing the court with him. For the most part, this was a result of better shot selection brought about by Wall's ability to draw defensive attention, both in the halfcourt and in transition, and to kick the ball out to Beal in the corner or cutting to the rim. This ties in nicely with Beal's greatest strength and greatest weakness - he's a guy who should be able to get you 20 points per game within the flow of an offense. That's great when you have a ball-dominant point guard and bigs who know how to pass, not so much when your team desperately needs someone who can create shots in isolation.
Defense: Beal took his share of rookie lumps on the defensive end but more or less played well last season. MySynergySports ranked him the 77th best defensive player in the NBA last year and the fifth best defense in the NBA was exactly as good with him on the floor as it was with him off of it. Beal is undersized with short arms so the deck is stacked against him when it comes to NBA defense, though. He'll never be a stopper and it's unlikely he's ever much better than average, but it says a lot about his basketball IQ that even as a 19 year old rookie he wasn't that bad.
Other stuff: Beal has a high basketball IQ and a lot of maturity for a guy his age. Even though Wall is still considered the centerpiece of Washington's team, Beal had already begun to emerge as a locker room leader by the end of the season.
Did he meet, exceed or fall short of expectations? He made the All-Rookie team and looked like a core piece by the end of the season. That's about what's typically expected of a number three pick.
Overall: Beal looks like a keeper. His skillset perfectly complements Wall's, he's still on his rookie deal and he has a reputation as a fan-friendly, high character guy. A few more signs that he could eventually achieve elite status would have been nice, but Beal nonetheless has a very bright future.
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