Everyone wants Bradley Beal.
That is at least the way it seems heading into Thursday’s 2012 NBA Draft.
Though there are a plethora of talented players that could be selected in the top five on Thursday, no one is a hotter topic than Beal who was once expected not to fall past the seventh overall pick but now looks to be a shoe-in top-four selection.
Should the first four picks of the draft remain with the teams that currently possess them, the consensus is that Beal will be passed over by Charlotte with the No. 2 pick but that Washington would scoop him up immediately at No. 3 overall.
However, both Charlotte and Washington have had inquiries about their picks over the last few weeks. Charlotte has heard most notably from Cleveland, which is considering jumping Washington from their No. 4 spot to choose Beal with the second selection.
But Cleveland is not the only team seriously considering making a move for Beal.
According to a report from ESPN’s Andy Katz, Oklahoma City is one of at least four other teams (Denver, San Antonio, Atlanta) that have also put heavy consideration into finding a way to move up and grab the Florida Gators star.
Beal told ESPN.com Wednesday that Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti told him during an interview in Chicago that he was interested in trying to move up to draft him. The Thunder’s first-round pick isn’t until No. 28. [...]
A number of sources said that Presti spent three days in Gainesville during the lockout watching the Gators practice, a fact that Beal confirmed Wednesday.
A source also said that Florida coach Billy Donovan met with Presti in Dallas when he took his two nephews to the Oklahoma City-Dallas first-round playoff series in May. Presti and Donovan have had multiple conversations on the phone about Beal, as well.
A source with direct knowledge of the situation said, “Oklahoma City exhausted every opportunity on campus to find out everything they could find out about Beal. They’ve done everything they can.”
It may be a bit murky as to which jersey he will be holding up on stage and where he will begin his NBA career and Beal will obviously be anxious heading into the draft on Thursday, but he also has to be confident on the eve of his 19th birthday.
It is always nice to feel wanted.
Photo Credit: Associated Press