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.
Through the 2011 NBA Draft, Florida Gators forward and 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the YearChandler Parsons will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.
Jet-setting across the country working out for nearly every team in the league, Parsons got in touch with us Tuesday while spending a rare day off in New Jersey. After working out for five teams in eight days, he finally found an opportunity to rest before wrapping up workouts on the east and heading out for a West Coast swing. Parsons will be all over the country from now until June 20 but will continue checking in with us each week.
We last spoke with Parsons the night before his workout with the Miami Heat.
The Miami workout went great. That was during the NBA Finals, but it was cool because [team president] Pat Riley was there. There were six people there – two wings, two guards and two bigs – and it was very competitive. We got to play a lot of three-on-three and two-on-two; it was the same thing as every other workout. We went for an hour to an hour-and-a-half doing different drills that tested our conditioning and ability. Like I’ve said before, now they just want to see you compete. They’ve seen me play for four years, so they really just want to see me get after it and get a chance to see me in person.
After a workout, you interview with the teams and they basically ask you the same kind of questions I got asked at the combine. Just about your upbringing, my game on- and off-the-court, and things like that. Pat Riley was right there on the court going through the drills with us. It was real cool that they’re going through a lot in the Finals but he still has time to go there and find someone he wants for the draft this year.
There was an article where a Miami reporter asked [Udonis] Haslem and Mike Miller about me. He got quotes from them about me in the draft and stuff, about how the Heat really like me.
“I asked how the workout went. They said it went well,” forward Mike Miller said. “I like Chandler, he brings a lot to the table, sort of a jack of all trades. Sort of like me, I guess.”
The Heat’s other former Gator also has a rooting interest.
“A very versatile kid, about 6-9, 6-10, can shoot it, can put it on the floor,” power forward Udonis Haslem said. “He can pretty much do it all.”
After that I went to Houston and Houston was by far the hardest workout. They basically put two hours on the clock and we ran it all the way down. It was non-stop competing. Full-court. A lot of running and shooting. Just basically staying active and competing for two-straight hours with limited breaks and limited teaching. It was very hot in the gym. It was two hours long, which is brutal. And all of the traveling catches up to you. It’s just tiring going at each other that hard for that long. It gave us a chance to show what kind of shape we were in, but that one was definitely tiring.
I’m mostly getting different match-ups [at each workout]. In Miami I had Carleton Scott from Notre Dame, and in Houston I had Jordan Hamilton from Texas. From Houston I went to Charlotte, which was a stacked workout. It was basically the top six small forwards in the draft. It was me, Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State, Chris Singleton from Florida State, Tobias Harris from Tennessee, Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA and Jordan Hamilton from Texas. That was a huge confidence builder for me, because that one I think was my best workout.
[Majority owner] Michael Jordan was right there and I’m joking with Michael Jordan and getting taught by Michael Jordan throughout the whole workout. You read about these guys and they get a lot of hype, and these guys have a lot of talent and they’re really good, but after going there and workout out against those guys I have confidence that I’m just as good as any small forward in this draft. This draft is wide open, and they had great things to say to my agent about me after that workout.
Charlotte was a blast – the best workout – played great and very confident. At one point during the workout I dunked, and [Jordan] looked at me and laughed, ‘White guys aren’t supposed to dunk.’ Literally like two plays after that, I caught a tip dunk and just kind of looked at him. Everybody started laughing; it was pretty funny.
Chicago was also a really good [workout]. What was tough about Chicago was it was literally the day after Charlotte. After my workout with Charlotte, I got on a plane, got in late to Chicago that night, woke up the next morning at 7 a.m. and have to play again for the Bulls, which are known traditionally for having a very tough workout. And it was very tough. I didn’t see Scottie Pippen this time [he did at the combine], but I saw [vice president] John Paxton, coach [Tom] Thibodeau and the GM [Gar Forman]. They had a lot of people there. That workout I went against Chris Wright from Dayton and David Lightly from Ohio State.
[Getting a day off] today is huge for me. It’s the first time I feel like I’ve been able to sleep in a long time. I got to sleep in, went to Subway and got a good, healthy meal and stayed off my feet. I went to the Nets practice facility a little bit ago just to get some shots up, nothing tough, just to shoot the ball and get used to the gym and their rim. It was nice to get my wind back and be able to relax for a day, not have to wake up early, go through the workouts. It was good to have an off-day.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Q:Do you agree with the belief that it is not so much about how many shots a player makes during the workouts you are participating in but rather that the evaluators are looking at your form, shot motion and decision making? Is that actually the case? PARSONS: “That’s 100 percent true, even in spot shooting and drills. Scouts and GMs have been watching me play for four years. They know I can shoot the ball, they know I can dribble the ball, they know I can pass the ball. They want to see me – in the workout and this setting – how physical I am, how tough I play, how aggressive I play. They want to see – if I have an open shot – if I’m smart enough to make the extra pass to get someone else a better look. They basically look at all of your tools. The ball going in the basket literally is the last thing they look at. They want a guy who can shoot the ball has great form and has a good shot. That’s not going to be a problem. They want someone who understands the game and who just competes every drill and doesn’t take a play off.”