Exactly two weeks away from the 2012 NBA Draft – and his 19th birthday – Florida Gators freshman guard Bradley Beal completed his first pre-draft workout with the Washington Wizards and came away feeling good about what he did on the court.
“I believe it went great. I made a lot of shots today and really showcased a lot of things I was capable of doing,” he told the team’s website following his workout. “I listened well, was very coachable and listened to everything coach wanted me to do. And I think I did a pretty good job today.”
Beal competed in on-court drills and even worked some with Washington assistant coach and former three-time NBA champion guard Sam Cassell (video).
He later said that he had two goals heading into his workouts and was able to get both accomplished on Thursday, the first of which was being able to show teams that he’s taller than many perceive him to be.
“I’m close to 6’5” – I’m like 6’4” ¾ – I guess I had a growth spurt over the last couple of days,” Beal said with a smile. “That’s a big hump that I got over. I’m glad that a lot of teams are actually noticing that now, and I think that will be a big advantage to me.”
He also was able to showcase his ability to create off the dribble, something he did not do much of at Florida until head coach Billy Donovan allowed him to handle the ball more often during the postseason.
“We did a lot of drills where we had to dribble the ball and shoot a lot of pull-up jumpers. I think I did a pretty good job of that and that’s what I wanted to showcase the most,” he said. “I believe at the next level I can do that, make some pull-up jumpers and create for other guys as well.”
Beal was also asked about his expectations heading into his rookie season in the NBA. He said that he does not expect to be handed a starting role even if he does go top-four and is happy to be a young leader for a team that may need some guidance.
“I’m the type of guy that wants to earn everything. I want to earn every bit of it. I don’t want anything given to me. I’m just going to come in and work hard,” he said.
“I believe I’m more than capable of being a leader. If coach wants me to do that, I’ll most definitely do that – or take it upon myself to do that.”
For now Beal has other things to keep his mind busy. He jumped on a plane immediately after his workout and is on his way to Cleveland where he will meet with the Cavaliers and do some on-court drills with the team on Saturday. Should Washington pass on Beal with the No. 3 overall pick, Cleveland would be happy to scoop him up one slot later.
He will wrap up his visits with one to Charlotte (No. 2 overall) on Monday.
Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/Associated Press