Leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30th, we will be profiling each of the top-10 players available in the Draft from 10 to 1. We’ll be discussing each player’s game, and how they could theoretically fit or not fit with the Cavaliers. For Tyler Zeller click here, Perry Jones III here, John Henson here, Harrison Barnes here, Jared Sullinger here, Andre Drummond here and for Thomas Robison click here.
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No. 3 – Bradley Beal, Freshman, Florida; 2011-12 stats: 14.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 45% shooting
Bradley Beal, as a player, has been called “Ray Allen meets Eric Gordon.” Sign me up. The former Gator is another player in this draft that gives the Cavs that scorer to go next to Kyrie Irving. He is a prototypical shooting guard, in terms of his game and scoring prowess.
Beal is a great shooter; he has had scouts attention since high school. He has a great shooting stroke and is able to stretch his range well past the 3-point line. He also thrives in the clutch, never in fear of taking that last shot.
He is also a solid, but not spectacular athlete. He is much more of a smooth, finesse player as he uses his high basketball IQ and instincts to get to the rim. I tend to remember the same scouts saying last season that Irving was only a “good” athlete as well; and we all saw how that worked out.
For a guard, Beal is an excellent rebounder, averaging nearly seven a game. He is a good defender, with all the tools to become a great defender. He also has the ball- handling capability to play the point in a pinch if needed. In short, he is a very good all-around basketball player.
One of the big knocks on Beal is his size, he stands somewhere between 6-3 and 6-5. He doesn’t have that usual size seen in NBA 2 guards nowadays. I don’t think his size will hurt him at all, but he may have some struggles defending the bigger guards in this League.
With his size, there are some who question his position as well. Is he a shooting guard, or does he have the ball handling skills to make him a scoring point guard? I like him much better as a 2 personally, and I think putting him at the point wouldn’t be the most beneficial for the team who drafts him.
Beal is a player who I think the Cavs would consider taking as high as the second pick. He is the type of player that the Cavs need; a shooter with range that stretches out of the Q. Pairing him with Irving in the backcourt could form one of the most dangerous young guard tandems in the NBA over next few seasons.
If the Cavs do end up with the second pick, they will have a tough decision between Beal and the next player to profiled on this list. One who I think may have a leg up on Beal. More on him tomorrow.