NBA Draft Diary: Bradley Beal, Will Barton, Royce White Profiles
Strengths: Bradley Beal has a great feel for the game. He does not force plays, he plays within his game and gets teammates involved. He is a little undersized at 6’4 for a shooting guard but his 200 lb muscular frame makes up for his lack in height. Beal has the ability to penetrate the lane and finish with either hand. He is often compared to Eric Gordon, but he is not quite as explosive as Gordon is around the rim. He is best known for his jump shot. Although he only shot 33% from 3-point range, he has picture perfect form, causing many scouts to say his freshmen shooting numbers were a fluke. The most likeable thing about Bradley Beal is his character and attitude. He is a great teammate and a strong leader. He is the type of player other players want to play with.
Weaknesses: At 6’4″, it wouldn’t hurt for Beal to be a little taller. Players such as Dwyane Wade and Eric Gordon have been very successful at shooting guard even though they are undersized but ideally you want someone in the 6’5 to 6’6 range. Although he has perfect form, Beal needs to become a more consistent shooter from outside. He often settles for 3-pointers instead of using his quickness and strength to attack the paint. He also needs to become a much better player in pick and roll situations. He only shot 35% in screen and roll situations last year. On the defensive end, Beal needs to become more of a team defender. Being a strong defender does not just revolve around man defense. Overall, Beal has the shot and strength to be a dynamic scorer in the NBA. Now he needs to become more of a complete player.
2011-2012 Statistics: 14.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg
NBA Comparison: Eric Gordon
Will Barton 6’6″ Shooting Guard – Memphis
Strengths: Will Barton is a slasher that possesses a nice mid range jump shot. This season he really improved on his playmaking ability and his 3-point shot. For Memphis Barton excelled in most of the statistical categories and in comparison to the other shooting guards in this class Barton’s number are equal if not better than his opposition. He has a very thin frame, but can attack the paint and does not shy away from contact. He plays with a ton of passion and emotion. The effort will always be there for Barton, which is why he averaged eight rebounds per game even though he is only 6’6″.
Weaknesses: Barton really needs to add weight to his frame. At only 175 lbs, his body may not be made for the physicality of the NBA game. He also needs to improve his decision making. Often times he forces a play when he does not need to. As a role player at the next level, his opportunities to make an impact will be limited compared to his role at Memphis, so he needs to improve his basketball IQ to get the most out of his opportunities.
2011-2012 Statistics: 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.9 apg
NBA Comparison: Manny Harris/Corey Crewer
Strengths: Royce White is the most unique player in this year’s draft. On talent alone, he should be ranked a top-8 pick. At 6’8″ with a 260 lb frame, he has drawn comparisons to Lebron James physically. He has the power to bang in the paint but also the quickness to blow by slower defenders. At Iowa State, he was asked to do a little bit of everything, which is what he did. In fact, he was the only player in Division I basketball to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game. He has a lot Michael Beasley to his game. He likes to pull defenders out in space and then attack the rim, using his huge frame to shield defenders from the ball. He has a decent mid range jump shot that forces defenders to play him tight. White also fared well against most of Iowa State’s toughest opponents, including 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, on 9-12 shooting in his final game against Kentucky.
Weaknesses: Royce White comes with a little bit of baggage. He has a diagnosed anxiety disorder that concerns many teams and has likely hurt his stock. He suffers from a fear of flying, which is definitely a red flag considering all of the traveling NBA teams do. White’s biggest concern on the court is his sub par free throw shooting. He actually shoots betters from the field (53%), than he does from the line (49%). A player of his stature will likely get fouled a lot at the next level, so he needs to work on making the “freebies” count.
2011-2012 Statistics: 13.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 5 apg
NBA Comparison: Boris Diaw/Michael Beasley