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Wizards' top pick looking forward to running with Wall

The SportsXchange

The Washington Wizards used the third pick in the NBA draft to select Bradley Beal, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Florida. Beal should make a nice backcourt paring with point guard John Wall, who will be entering his third season in a Wizards uniform.

The Wizards worked out Beal on June 14 and seemed impressed with his skill and maturity. Beal, who celebrated his 19th birthday on draft night, said after the workout that he has no expectations of moving right into the starting lineup -- replacing third-year shooting guard Jordan Crawford -- but a few NBA pundits think the job could be his by midseason.

"I couldn't guarantee the (starting) job was mine because I'm the type of guy that wants to earn everything, every bit of it," Beal said after his workout. He also said the chance to run up and down the court with Wall was something he'd love to do.

"I love to get up and down, pressure on defense and get after the offense on the fast break, so I think that he (Wall) would be pretty good guy to play with," Beal said.

The addition of Beal will immediately improve the offensively challenged Wizards, who were 23rd in the league in scoring with just 93.6 points per game. The Wizards also shot an anemic 32 percent from three-point range. Beal is a long, athletic wing player who can hit from inside and outside the arc.

Beal is also the type of player who has the drive and the work ethic to keep improving and showed it during his one season at Florida by improving his three-point shooting near the end of the season. He's a high-character guy who is sorely needed on a team still trying to rid itself of its knucklehead image. He's also friends with Wall, and the Wizards did well to add a player who will complement Wall both on and off the court.

Beal joins a revamped Wizards roster that has been cleansed of the massive contract of the constantly injured Rashard Lewis, who was sent to the New Orleans Hornets, along with the 46th pick in the draft, for forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. The trade gives the team two additional veteran players who will add a tough, defensive presence and some additional scoring. Okafor averaged 9.9 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game, Ariza 10.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg last season.

The Wizards also had a second-round pick, No. 32 overall, and selected Tomas Satoransky from Banca Civica, Spain.

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