With 10 days to go until the 2012 NBA Draft – and his 19th birthday – Florida Gators freshman guard Bradley Beal completed his final pre-draft workout after performing live for the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday morning.
Beal and fellow potential top-five selection Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist worked out for Charlotte, which was without a head coach at the time, as owner Michael Jordan, team president Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho looked on, according to the Associated Press.
Many draft analysts believe Beal’s stiffest competition to be the No. 2 overall pick, which is owned by the Bobcats, is Kidd-Gilchrist, but Beal was happy to go against him Monday because both were able to shine by playing against each other.
“It really was,” said Beal, noting that the workout helped highlight their contrasting styles. “We both got after it, on both ends, even my defense and his offense. We’re just competitors and we both went at it today. It was cool. We were laughing and joking around, but competing at the same time.”
He also said Monday’s competition was Almost every workout was similar. There was a lot of ball-handling involved, especially Washington and this one. They had drills where I came off screens and show what I’ll do in certain situations. Overall I think I did very well.
Some have questioned Beal’s decision to only work out for three teams – Charlotte (No. 2 overall pick), Washington (No. 3 overall pick) and Cleveland (No. 4, 24 overall picks) – but he insisted on Monday that his agent Mark Bartelstein is sure he will not fall out of the top four. “My agent and I have discussed that,” he said. “Everybody’s pretty much telling me I won’t go any lower than that, so I just limited myself to where I fit in best.”
Despite Bartelstein’s confidence, some mock drafts and NBA analysts believe Beal could theoretically fall out of the top four depending how the teams’ respective decision-making processes unfold. That being said, it is unlikely that he would drop further than No. 7 overall and the fact that he did not work out privately for teams with picks after Cleveland probably would not hurt him from being selected by other organizations.
Should Beal go No. 2 overall to the Bobcats, he would tie Neal Walk (1969, Phoenix) as the highest-selected Gators basketball player in team history. A Florida student-athlete has not gone in the top five of the NBA Draft since forward/center Al Horford was picked No. 3 overall by Atlanta in 2007; UF also had G/F Corey Brewer (No. 7, Minnesota) and F/C Joakim Noah (No. 9, Chicago) go in the top 10 that year.
Photo Credit: Associated Press