NEWARK, Nj. (WUSA) -- On Wednesday it looked as if Florida's Bradley Beal wouldn't fall into the Wizards lap, like Washingtonhad so desperately hoped for. The franchise revealed to the entire NBA that their only glaring need was at shooting guard, following the trade for veteran forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.
Luckily for Ernie Grunfeld -- and for Wizards fans -- those highly speculative Twitter rumors were laid to rest onThursday, when David Stern called Beal's name with the third overallpick.
"It's a blessing and an honor to be drafted -- and to be drafted bythe Wizards is terrific," said a beaming Beal Thursday night at thePrudential Center. "They have a great front office and a great team onthe uprising. Looking forward to making an impact and going to D.C."
The Wizards shooting woes were well documented this season, putting amassive amount of pressure on John Wall to perform at a much higherlevel than he was capable of achieving. Beal's arrival at the Verizon Centercouldn't come at a better time for the Wizards point guard.
"I know John a little bit personally. He knows the kind of player Iam. I know the player he is. He plays fast and that's the way I like toplay. Hopefully I can knock down some shots for him," said thewell-spoken Beal .
What's really interesting -- and something Washington head coachRandy Wittman must explore -- is Beal's desire to play some point guard.That particular position was crowded at the University of Florida, butit sounds like bringing up the ball is something the newest Wizard expects the team to experiment with.
"I guess we will switch off every now and then. I think that'sgoingto be a good thing for us. And probably a bad thing for the other team,hopefully," joked Beal to local reporters who made the trip to NewJersey. "We can create mismatches as well, both being able to handlethe ball."
As you'll quickly learn, Beal is very diplomatic with his answers. He doesn't expect to start right away, and he will play whatever role is crafted out for him.
"I'm not going to force the issue. Whatever the team needs me to do,whatever the coaches need me to do, that's what I'm going to do."
Beal's critics often chirped about his so-so season at Florida. Thetouted long distance shooter shot less than 34 percent from thethree-point line and severely underperformed in big games against Syracuse, Arizona and Kentucky. Beal was unsure he would even declare for the draft because of these very woes.
"Sometimes it's not your fault. You don't have control over where theball goes in the hoop. If we did, I don't think anybody would miss. I just staying focused and having fun. And doing the other things toimpact the game," said Beal.
What the Wizards get in Bradley Beal is everythingthey've lacked: A guard with a smart shot selection; a perimeterdefender with bulk who can crash the boards; a crunch-time shooter notnamed Jordan Crawford.
And his personality is one to rave about. Each answer wasn't robotic. He never seemed nervous either.
The best part? With Beal in the fold, the playoffs are not entirely out of the question as we head into next season.