Just because Bradley Beal was the Wizards' third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft doesn't automatically mean he is slotted in as the team's starting shooting guard when the season starts this month. Wizards' coach Randy Wittman has made it clear that minutes will be earned, not given, no matter who you are. Beal will have to beat out last year's starter Jordan Crawford, something Crawford is going to make difficult to do. By all accounts he is having a very good training camp so far.
"Obviously, Jordan has been here so he has a little bit of an advantage right now," Wittman said. "I always think that guys that know what to expect have a little bit of an advantage moving on. The guys that have been here, especially after I took over as coach, have an understanding of the dos and don'ts of what I want."
Crawford is a streaky shooter with a tendency to force shots. Last season he averaged 16 points a game in 32 starts for the Wizards. If Crawford wants to win the job he has to be more patient and make better decisions shooting the ball. In his only season at Florida, Beal put up 15 points and 7 rebounds a game.
"Being a rookie coming into this situation, we are going to see how much he can handle, see how much he can't handle before we get into deciding to thrust somebody further along than we need to be," Wittman said about Beal after the first day of training camp.
Beal took part in the Las Vegas summer league and backed up the team's selection, averaging nearly 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists while helping the Wizards to a 3-2 record.
"I've been impressed," Wittman said. "Now summer league and NBA play are two different things, we all know that. But he has put in the time and effort. He's a diligent worker."
After a disappointing 20-46 record last season, the Wizards hope Beal is ready to contribute right away. Beal, along with injured point guard John Wall, are the back court of the future in D.C., so it should only be a matter of time before Beal supplants Crawford.