We now move to the shooting guard prospects, and at the top of the board, the 2012 class offers a pair of polished deep threats: Bradley Beal and Jeremy Lamb, who do you go for?
Bradley Beal (#10 DraftExpress, #9 NBADraft.net)
A somewhat undersized shooting guard prospect at 6’4-6’4 ½, this 18-year-old Florida freshman makes up for his lack of height with a 6’7 wingspan and a physically mature frame. He is an exceptional shooter coming off screens or spotting up and boasts superior mechanics and a silky smooth stroke. He is an above average defender at the college level, and projects as a positive contributor at the defensive end when he reaches the NBA. Far from a chucker, Beal uses good passing skills and unselfishness to involve his teammates and expose opposing defenses. Despite his excellent shooting ability, Beal struggles at creating his own shot, with a combination of below average dribbling ability and less-than-explosive first step, rendering him something less than a complete offensive threat. Perhaps because of his small stature, he is also prone to avoiding an attack to the basket when the option is available, opting instead to stay within his comfort-zone of shooting mid-range and outside jumpers. His unique skillset leads some to label him as a combo guard, which could be considered as a negative. Shooting ability is always an asset in the pro game, and Beal has the tools to provide for any NBA team.
Best Case: Ray Allen meets Richard Hamilton
Worst Case: Defensively sound Jordan Crawford
Jeremy Lamb (#12 DraftExpress, #5 NBADraft.net)
Standing 6’5 with a reported wingspan of 7’1, Jeremy Lamb is Chad Ford’s wet dream. The 19-year-old UConn sophomore is a solid athlete with distinctive physical tools and a well-rounded game. With the possible exception of his shooting ability, Lamb doesn’t excel at any one particular aspect of the game; rather he is average to good at everything. What has scouts excited, and the reason some believe he could be one of the best players in the draft, is his potential. A diligent worker who comes from a basketball family, Lamb has every chance to become an elite player at the next level if he manages to put it all together. By far his biggest weakness is a lack of strength and physical prowess, which negatively affects almost all aspects of his game and could prevent him from reaching his considerably high ceiling. Also, while a competent ball handler, he lacks the dribbling ability to be a true threat to attack the basket or get by his defender with ease. Potential has always intrigued teams in the draft, with plenty of success stories (Al Jefferson) and a slew of busts (Darko Milicic).
Best Case: Physically gifted Reggie Miller
Worst Case: 6’5 Nicolas Batum without the motor