Beal talks draft, Porter Jr., McLemore

Beal talks draft, Porter Jr., McLemore
May 6, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Bradley Beal is still a teenager, but the 19-year-old's take on the Wizards' needs heading into the offseason is a mature one.

Just one season removed from the college game and two since he played on the high school level, Beal also has a grasp on many of those projected high atop the 2013 draft class. Some in his opinion are NBA-ready including fellow Missourians Otto Porter Jr. and Ben McLemore. Whether players in the draft can address the Wizards' desires is another matter.

Asked if anyone in this draft stood out as a player that could help Washington immediately, Beal said, "Yes and no. Yes because there are like a lot of wings in this draft, but we are like full at that spot with [Trevor] Ariza, Martell [Webster], Chris [Singleton]. We have guys that can play the 3-position. "

Three of the top-10 players in the 2013 class ranked by DraftExpress.com are small forwards or swingmen: Georgetown's Porter, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad. If the Wizards retain Webster, their top free agent, then small forward is not a high priority need. However, Ariza is entering the final year of his contract and Washington could move Singleton this offseason as it seeks to diversify its frontcourt options - or doesn't feel he can fill the need Beal describes next.

"We really need like a stretch-four, someone that can shoot the ball," Beal said. "I don't know if there is anybody in this draft that can do that."

He may be right, especially if UNLV's Anthony Bennett, third on the DE rankings, measures out in the 6-foot-6 range as some fear. Flashing the ability to score from all angles, Bennett shot 37.5 percent from the college 3-point line this past season. Playing the Canadian baller near the rim where the 240-pounder can take advantage of long arms and rebounding prowess might make the most sense on the next level.

The only other potential power forward options in the lottery - Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk and Indiana's Cody Zeller - are not pure perimeter threats at this stage of their career.

Should the Wizards jump up into one of the top-3 picks, look for talent and potential to supersede need, especially for this class.  That's where two players Beal knows from his high school days could enter.

"I think they are two NBA-ready players, most definitely," Beal said of Porter and McLemore. Beal and McLemore played on the same AAU team, but had no luck recruiting Porter, who famously passed on the level of amateur hoops altogether.

McLemore averaged 15.9 points while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for Kansas as a freshman. The 6-foot-5 guard is in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick depending on which NBA team lands the top selection.

"Ben is super athletic, can shoot the ball," Beal said. "He's definitely going to have a lot of success. He's more of a two-guard now. In high school, he was more of a three. Now he's shooting the ball tremendously. He's definitely going to fill up the scores for somebody next year."

Considering Beal's existence on the roster, it would be surprising if Washington went for another shooting guard high in the draft, but talent wins out. Projecting Porter to the Wizards is less complicated even if Webster sticks around. 

The unanimous Big East Player of the Year, Porter led the Hoyas in scoring, rebounding, steals and 3-point shooting as a sophomore. DraftExpress slots Porter sixth among all prospects while some mock drafts have the all-court performer as the third overall pick in the draft depending on the final order.

Beal: "Otto is very versatile. He can rebound his position, score the play, play good defense. He was definitely at a great system at Georgetown that I think did a great job at preparing him for the next level.

"They both have to get stronger. I think they are both ready."