#3: Bradley Beal
When the Charlotte Bobcats took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second pick in the draft, a lot of anxiety left the Prudential Center in Newark—at least momentarily—as the Washington Wizards then took Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal with the #3 overall selection.
Every credible journalist with even second-tier sources has been hearing that Beal was Washington’s selection at #3 for weeks, so the pick was anything but a surprise. Looking at the status of that Washington roster, Beal was the player who made the most sense. After the trade earlier in the month that brought in Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, as well as the deadline deal last season that reined in Nene, the biggest need for the Wizards moving forward was a starting shooting guard, and that’s exactly what Washington has planned for Beal.
The Wizards still believe that John Wall will be one of the top point guards in the league, but he needed more talent around him to show he could do that. Beal gives him a great backcourt running mate for the foreseeable future, and this pick, plus the recent trade, should be enough to get them out of the league basement and back towards credibility.
Beal is a shooter who has been compared to both Ray Allen and Eric Gordon, and with good reason. He’s a stellar outside shooter and a high-character kid, so this seems like as reasonable a pick as you could expect at #3. He and Wall should grow well together moving forward, and that’s exactly what the Wizards had hoped for all along.