The marriage of Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards was in the offing week ahead of the 2012 NBA Draft. Both sides made it official last week with the first-round pick signing a rookie contract. Mike Prada of SB Nation, who spent some time talking with and watching Beal in Las Vegas with the NBA Summer League, called him a "coach's dream" in a Monday feature examining the player's versatility and team-first mindset.
Prada on what makes Beal an important player:
A lot of that is due to what's pretty clear on the surface. At just 19 years old, Beal is mature beyond his years. On the court, he maintains the same, cool demeanor no matter how much he is scoring. Almost nothing rattles him.
Beyond that, he's unselfish, willing to create for his teammates or fade into the background to let them shine. He's mature off the court, taking good care of himself and emerging quickly as a top public speaker in the locker room.
A deeper look, though, reveals just how seamlessly Beal fits into any coach's schemes. He won't always dazzle in the scoring column, and while he stuffs the stat sheet well, there will be plenty of games where his box-score production will seem mediocre.
But coaches don't think like fans. They think about process before results, execution before completion, versatility before production, reliability before upside.
All of that stands to benefit the Wizards. Beal's versatility as a shooter, gives them a player capable of adapting to defenses. His demeanor also earns him the trust and respect of his coaches, something that will allow him to grow and develop as a player who should be an important bridge to a bright future for the Washington Wizards.