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Inside the Drafting of Avery Bradley

 

Henry Abbott did something rare: he convinced Dan Fegan, a powerful agent who represents John Wall and many NBA players, to allow Abbott to trail him during the chaos of draft day.

Lucky thing for us: Fegan also represents Avery Bradley, the C’s first-round draft pick. And given Bradley’s recent ankle injury, convincing a team to pick Bradley in the top 20 proved to be a lot more work than convincing the Wizards to take Wall. Abbott had an up-close look at the last day of that work, which involved calling all the GMs in the 15-20 range and sending one of Fegan’s agents to spend the day with Bradley’s family in Seattle, where he was instructed to gently prep them for the possibility that Avery might fall far much further than they had expected.

It also involved constructing a way to pitch Bradley to Danny Ainge, Sam Presti and the other GMs in Bradley’s range, and that narrative is an encouraging one for Celtics fans:

After talking it out, he rejects that approach, and settles on a different theme: Bradley is the 2010 version of another Fegan client, Jrue Holiday. The two, he says, are “eerily similar.” Both were touted, coming out of high school, as top five talent. Both played out of position in college, for a team that won less than expected. Both slipped from the top five on the draft board, even though — as goes Fegan’s talk — time will show both are among the best picks in their respective drafts.

Fegan seems able to get any GM, owner or coach on the phone in moments, and does, nearly all day. Larry Bird, R.C. Buford, Danny Ainge, Mark Cuban, Sam Presti … They and many others hear this pitch…

And maybe it works. Fegan delivers his Bradley-as-Holiday talk to Ainge Thursday afternoon, and sure enough the Celtics pluck Bradley 19th.

Go read the whole piece. It’s a fun read, with nice photos alongside.

  • Perry

    @Zach

    I was curious if you found out about Sheed’s contract?

    Will they be able to use the $12m or so he left on the table after the bureaucracy is all said and done?

    This would allow them to have a pair of MLE contracts since they remain over the cap.

    Are they independent of each other, or can the Sheed MLE be used in conjunction with the 2010-11 MLE to sign a free agent making between $10-12m?

  • Jay P

    @Perry

    He leaves 12mil over the course of 2 years. They have to buyout a % of that money which he’ll negotiate, or they can package the contract to another team to buy him out. The money they pay in the buyout goes against this years cap, if I understand everything correctly. However, if he negotiates, say a 3million buyout, or 1/4th his contract, then the team that takes the contract, saves over 3million in cap space, since he contract for this year is worth 6, and then the team clears 6 million next year.

    3million can be a big difference for a team really trying to clear cap space, and they might just find a suitor to throw us a moderately useful role player so they can clear space.

  • C Lo

    Is there any chance of possibly trading Sheed’s contract for say Beasley and letting Miami buy him out?

  • dslack

    No, the buyout amount is prorated over the remainder of the contract. The buyout could be for anywhere from $0 (a simple retirement — no buyout) to the full value of the contract (about $13M). In your example, with a $3M buyout, that counts against the cap as $1.5M for 2 years.

  • dslack

    @C Lo

    I think that’s a definite possibility. It all depends how much Sheed wants in a buyout. From what I’ve been reading, he is just retiring — i.e., he’d take $0 and wouldn’t cost the Heat anything. But I’m not certain about this.

  • Sophomore

    Here’s hoping Fegan is right.

    By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Washburn’s article on the Cs’ options in the Globe. He says that if Paul opts out of his contract the Celtics can get under the cap, then use the cap space to sign new players, *and* then sign Paul to an extension using his Bird rights. That doesn’t seem right, based on what I’ve read here, but I’m no capologist.

    Here’s Washburn:

    “Timing is everything for the Celtics. They can use their Larry Bird Rights to re-sign Pierce to an extension if he opts out of his contract, which would put them an estimated $6 million under the salary cap along with an additional estimated $3 million from Wallace’s contract settlement. Then they can re-sign Pierce to a longer-term, lower-priced contract.”

    And just to be clear – Washburn is speculating about a $40-million, 3-year deal for PP, so it wouldn’t be the MLE. It would have to be a Bird rights deal.

  • CG

    Simmons says that Rasheed is waiting to file retirement papers so that the Cs can trade Rasheed (aka Rasheed’s contract) to someone for a useful player. Rasheed would then retire, giving cap relief to that team.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Sheed and cash for Beasley?

    (I know)

  • Banner 18?

    Sheed is gone and Kendrick Perkins has a bum knee, so we take a back up point guard. Doc himself said, and I quote (from CSNNE) “I don’t think they can play together”, in the context of Rondo and Bradley potentially playing together in the back court. RONDO PLAYS 40 MINUTES A NIGHT. So we just passed up multiple reliable and project bigs who could help now or in the future for a player who is too short to play shooting guard at 6’3, and can only play 8-10 minutes a night? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Even if Ainge was focusing on rebuilding, why would he take this kid? I know he was the number one prospect ahead of Wall coming into college, but he disappeared, averaging only 11-2-2 in one year! I mean come on, I can’t figure out why he would do this when he himself said that we had more pressing issues than a back up freaking point guard. Oh and by the way, Luke Haringody is probably a great kid, but he is legitimately a reincarnation of Baby, and we do NOT need 2 Babies coming in off the bench. Don’t try and tell me we couldn’t have swung for Alabi if all it took was a future second rounder and cash. And even if it failed, people drafted in the 50s have a 5% chance of success in the NBA, right? Go figure…

  • Jay P

    @Banner 18

    Rondo shouldn’t play 40 minutes a night. Ya he’s young, but you want him in “balls to the wall” Rondo mode, and he just can’t do that for 40+ minutes, as Game 7 was an example of.

    Rondo is at his best when he is pushing tempo, rebounding, jumping passing lines, running all over creating. Those are hard, tough, energy sapping minutes. He expends more energy in 20 minutes of playing time than 80% of the league spends in 40.

    So… getting a reliable back up PG who cna hold down the fort is absolutely 100% a concern for the future. If Ainge feel confident that Bradley is that guy, I’m ok with it.

    It’s doesn’t address immediate needs, but people have been bitching and crying about the future, saying eventually we’ll have to do something. Well, Ainge did it, he drafted a guy who was a former #1 prospect, elite defender, hard worker, great mentality, and huge potential. He’s the back up the team needs to keep Rondo fresh and pushing teams to the brink, and if he develops could be huge trade bait for teams in dire need of a point guard 2-3 years down the road.

    Everyone keeps saying “future, future, we’re screwed at 2011″ and Ainge does something to build it, and he’s getting his head chopped off for it… god people, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • Jay P

    @dslack

    Ah, very nice, thank you for correcting me. That’s even better, I thought the straight cash value was counted against this year, but prorating it is even better.

    Wonder what the chances Sheed negotiates for no buyout, and just leaves it all out there… I’m thinking about .5%

  • Jay P

    @Banner 18

    Should have finished reading your post. I completely agree with your point about the second round.

    I’m ok with bradley, but when Alabi went at 50, only two spots ahead of the Celtics, I’m in shock they didn’t try and move up a few spots. That was definitely a mistake.

  • Tom

    So Nate is done?

  • dslack

    Washburn is wrong. Only way Celtics have cap space if Pierce opts out is if Celtics renounce his Bird rights. Geez. I don’t even get paid to write about this stuff. It’s not that hard to read the damn CBA. (It’s not exactly bedtime reading, but hey if you get paid 6 figures to write about sports you could at least make an effort…)

  • dslack

    @Banner18, I have to say that I think it’s nearly always the right decision to draft the best player available, irrespective of current personnel. I can’t fault Danny for doing that. It’s when teams try to draft for need that they get into trouble, like leaving Jordan or Durant or Carmelo/Wade on the board.

  • sam

    Sheed for Beas would be great, Zach. At this point, Sheed for anything would be great. I still like Beasley’s talent. He’s got a bit of Lamar Odom in him.

    But does Miami really need any more cap space? I guess if they’d like to keep Haslem without hurting their chances at primo free agents it makes sense.

  • Buckets

    Does anybody think we can split the MLE on Brendan Haywood and Kyle Korver or give Haywood the full MLE and give Korver some of Sheed’s money?

    That’ll give us a rebounding big man and sharp shooter off the bench then sign Travis Outlaw and Hakim Warrick to veteran minimums for length.

    PG- Rondo and Bradley
    Wings- Pierce, R. Allen, T. Allen, Korver and Outlaw
    Posts- Garnett, Perkins, Davis, Haywood & Warrick

  • dslack

    @sam, good question. I had been assuming they needed Beasley gone, but I’m not positive anymore. If Wade opts out, he and other max free agents are eligible for $16.5M salaries on max contracts. Three such contracts total $49.5M. Add in Chalmers and Beasley and it’s $55.31M on just 5 contracts. There would have to be 7 cap holds at the rookie minimum (7 times $0.45M, or about $3.2M). This would put them over the ($56M) cap. So, yes, if they want to sign 3 max free agents (Wade and 2 others) they need to lose Beasley.

  • Perry

    @Jay P

    Thanks for the details. I was aware how the contract and the buyout % of his $12m worked against the cap, but I’m not clear on whether the two can be combined. In other words, if Sheed leaves with a $0 buyout, can his $6m/ be added to this year’s MLE? Can the Celts use $11.5m to procure one player?

    @dslack

    On the money with regards to the cap or a max free agent falling our way. Only way it happens is if Pierce opts out. Here’s a thought, and maybe not so far fetched when you consider the massive shake up that awaits the NBA this off season. Danny might consider a ‘salary match’ trade whereby they get two or three quality players for Pierce’s $21m. Any opposing team would be able to buyout his contract or simply remove it next year. There are many teams in financial trouble looking to clear cap space after the cba goes through. One of them is New Orleans. Draw your own conclusions as to what I’m speculating about.

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    Washburn is so wrong that’s almost incredible. HE seems to posit the C’s can sign PP to two separate contracts?

    People just get cap holds. Ray Allen’s cap hold alone puts boston over the cap, regardless of what PP does.

  • dslack

    @Buckets — can’t give anyone Sheeds money. The team is over the cap. All they have available is the midlevel exception. And there’s no way that can be split between Haywood and Korver. I wouldn’t be surprised if Haywood alone goes for more than the MLE this summer.

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    * don’t get cap holds.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @Tom: with bradley picked…..i’m guessing nate and either quis or TA are gone.

  • dslack

    @Perry: No.

    The only salary cap exception the Celtics have is the midlevel exception. Even if Sheed leaves, they’re still over the cap. If they got under the cap, they wouldn’t have the midlevel exception anymore (it’s an exception to allow the team to function over the cap; it disappears if the team is not over the cap).

  • dslack

    @Perry I just read the other part of your post —
    I don’t understand at all why New Orleans would trade Chris Paul for Paul Pierce. (Put differently: they wouldn’t.) If they want to get rid of Paul, it’s because they want to shed salary, so they’d go for a salary dump like sending him to NJ who can absorb his contract without needing to send anything back.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @sophmore: hard to beleive washburn gets paid and zach doesn’t.

    @zach: i like the idea of a reclamation project at the 4 that kg can mentor along before he retires….not sure if beasley is the guy….him and morrison seem to have the same gze from the bench….the “i’m dreaming of something more interesting and i’d rather be anywhere but here right now” look

  • dslack

    I just sent Washburn the following email:

    Gary,

    I enjoy your work but just wanted to let you know you were mistaken in today’s column. The Celtics only have space under the cap if Pierce opts out and the Celtics renounce both his and Ray Allen’s Larry Bird rights.

    Their team salary is now $63.3M. The #19 pick will count as $1.2M, for a total of $64.5M. If Sheed just retires and doesn’t take any buyout (i.e., a “buyout” of $0), then $6.3M comes off the books, bringing the team down to $58.2M. If Pierce opts out and the Celtics renounce him, his $21.5M comes off the books, and that brings them down to $36.7M. You have to add in 7 cap-holds at the rookie minimum salary (about $0.46M, for a total of about $3.2M) since the team has only 5 players at that point, which brings the payroll to about $39.9M. If they then also renounce Ray and Tony Allen’s Bird rights, they would have about (but not quite) a maximum salary available under the cap (which will be about $56M), so they could maybe sign a LeBron/Wade/Boozer/Amare/JoeJohnson/… if one of those guys wanted to come join the core of Rondo, KG, Perk, Glen Davis, and Avery Bradley. If that were to happen, however, the team would have no money left with which to sign Pierce and Allen (unless those guys wanted to take a veteran’s minimum contract of about $1M each).

  • Perry

    @sam

    Only in a perfect environment would I risk taking Beasley. He’s got oodles of talent, but he’s a basket case. If mentored by Doc, Clifford Ray and Kevin…then yes think about it. Caution though, you’re stuck with his brain cells till 2012.

    Better use of this year’s full MLE might be his teammate Haslem ($7m last year). The Heat can probably come close to a max free agent while retaining Wade. I say it’s Dirk or Amare or Bosh. Dirk gives them a much wider floor for Wade to operate under. Adding a third wheel like Ray Allen makes Haslem expendable.

  • Sophomore

    @koolaid – true dat.

    So. Lemme see if I’ve got this. Suppose PP opts out and Ray is still unsigned, which puts the Cs under the cap. They go out and sign a free agent to a contract that takes them right to the cap.

    At that point, can they still offer TA a contract because they have his Bird rights?

    And if they can offer TA a contract, why is PP in a different category? Do they lose his Bird rights if he opts out of the final year?

  • Sophomore

    Ah – dslack – just saw your post after submitting mine.

    I’m guessing that the answer to my TA question is – we can’t sign him because his salary counts against our cap unless/until we renounce his Bird rights.

    Same thing for PP.

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    @dslack: Let us know if GW gets back to you.

    TO all: RAy Allen’s cap hold is $19.7M. THat counts against Boston’s cap until they re-sign him or renounce his rights.

  • Jeff

    The C’s are committed to $35.1 mil currently without the buyout from Sheed’s contract which I have no idea what they’ll do with.

    Let’s say they trade it for a player or players, then they still have the $$$ on their books from those players. So…
    Rondo – $9
    KG – $18.8
    Perk – $4.3
    Davis – $3
    Sheed or other players – $6.3
    That gives us $41.4 committed along with whatever rookie money we’re obligated to now.

    That leaves us with $14.7 if we renounce the rights to Ray and PP. Which would leave us with that much money to fill potentially 8 spots, along with the MLE and vet’s min.

    If we were to buyout Sheed for $1 mil it would split between 2 years which would leave us with 4 players at $35.6 mil for the year.

    If in some way we could talk Ray into the MLE, and Paul into $12-13 mil per year, then we would still have cap to go after a couple guys or one guy, at a decent rate.
    Maybe Haywood at $4 mil and Outlaw at $3.5. Other than that we have to just supplement via trade, MLE, or vet’s min, unless we let Ray and PP walk and go for a Big name FA and another supplemental guy.

    Portland is trying to unload Fernandez right now I heard. They’ve got a loaded front court right now with Aldridge, Prizbilla, Camby, and Oden. Wonder if they’d do Rudy and Oden for Sheed’s contract and a future pick to get some cap relief.

    Then we could resign PP and Ray, MLE on Haywood, and sign Barnes and TA, and maybe Livingston as a backup G for vet’s min (TA we’d still have rights to resign)

    That’d be a serious frontcourt there. KG, Oden, Haywood, Davis, Perk. They would pummel people!

    Portland is probably not ready to give up on Oden yet though.

  • Jay P

    @Sophomore

    Precisely, they count as cap holds until their either signed to a new deal, or they renounce the rights to them.

  • Perry

    @dslack

    Right. Knew they qualified for the MLE because they’re over with or without Sheed. Understand now that contract cannot be used to amplify this year’s MLE. It’s better to use it as trade bait.

    Probably right on New Orleans. They moved Mo P and #11 to Olk. City, so they get the cap relief to help Paul. But CP also he’d welcome a trade if the new ownership is more interested in a youth movement than in winning a championship. D. West is unrestricted next year. Trading him won’t amount to much, but Paul and Okafor packaged together takes something like $100m (lifetime of each contract) off their books.

  • Jay P

    @Jeff

    Ya I can’t imagine their going to throw in the towel on Oden yet.

    That would be nice though.

    KG, Oden, Haywood, Davis, Perk = Rebounding problem SOLVED.

    I’m just not holding my breath, that’s for sure.

  • dslack

    @Jeff:
    Please read my letter to Washburn, above. You’re close in your arithmetic but forgot a few things (the cap holds for not having enough players on the roster, for instance). But the biggest thing is that the teams do not have a midlevel exception if they are below the salary cap.

    @Zach
    I’ll let you know.

  • mike

    who would you rather get as a rookie FA…zoubek (shot blocker, good rebounder, no offensive game) or samhan (nice low post game, slow) or both?

  • Jeff

    @ JP
    Me niether.

    Although who knows if Danny has some leverage from his playing days in POR.

    Also they did a trade with MIN that brought them Gomes. Wonder if he and Rudy could come in a package? Resign TA and you’ve got some pretty decent wings there!

    I hope that Danny drafted who he thought was the best available for their system last night with the thought that he will be able to get some guys in FA to help the front. Maybe he already knows and has talked with PP and Ray, and knows what they’re going to do and has his eye already set on some FA’s or trades that he likes, so he feels comfortable with picking the best available instead of what “other’s” think is their greatest needs.

    My money’s on that Danny already has offers ready, after talking to PP and Ray, that they are all comfortable with, and has some FA’s and a trade prospect for Sheed’s contract to bring in some players.

    I haven’t heard much about Michael Redd. I know he’s coming off injury and is older but I wonder how much he would want for a chance at a ring?

    He’s a great scorer, and is supposed to be a real good team mate.

    You think he’d come at MLE or $8 mil if Ray leaves?

    He might be left in the cold a bit because of other SG’s like Wade and JJ.

  • mike

    @jeff

    i believe they’d still be over the cap if the renounced their rites to ray….so he couldn’t get 8 million, unless it was in a sign and trade…i assume that he’d take the MLE coming off of his injury….

    i like the move of trading sheed’s contract for a talent like beasly…this team could get him straight…then sign redd with the MLE…

    and you have
    pp, ray, rondo, kg, baby, redd, beasley, bradley, perk (mid season) a guy like zoubek or samhan, and some roster filler…

  • Jay P

    @Jeff

    No idea on Redd, I’m not even sure he’s worth the MLE given the injury problems.

    IF he’s desperate to play for a ring, he’d come for the Vet min for a year, but Boston certainly isn’t the only team out there in the running for that type of deal.

    I’m hearing some reports about Miami really looking to dumb some salary by ridding themselves of Beasley’s contract.

    If that’s true, I really think Boston should push hard in shipping Sheed’s contract for Beasley. I’m not sure exactly how the numbers work out, but there’s a big upside to that for Cs, and if Miami really is trying to shed the contract, Ainge needs to make this happen.

  • Jeff

    @ dslack

    Thanks man. I understand I’m probably off a bit in my math but just as a rough idea for people who have the misconception (which I was confused about as well at first to be honest) that we can just sign guys as FA before counting our bird agents against the cap.

    @ Buckets

    I am with you on the Hakim Warrick train if we can get him pretty cheap. He played for only $3mil last year and I’d give him that. The guy has got some talent. He’d be a better backup than Beasley I think.

  • Ray Leighton

    Bradley is a good kid and a good choice. He really ought to be a SG, not a PG — he’s small, but strong and athletic and he can handle bigger players on defense. I really would like to see a unit with Rondo, TA, and Bradley on at the same time harassing the ball. And Doc said that they would have traded the pick if Bradley wasn’t available at that slot.

    Although the second pick…. wtf?

    I disagree with the idea that we had to take a big — any big we took would have been a major project. We need a starter to replace Perk, and that will have to come from free-agency or trade. Better to take an all-around solid player, particularly as Danny doesn’t know yet what the vets will do.

  • Jeff

    @ JP

    Beasley’s contract alone won’t work I don’t think.

    His deal is worth $4.6 but maybe a sign and trade of O’Neal added in their if he’ll come for cheap? It would have to be like $2.2-2.5 mil I think because of the salaries. In a trade I think (not 100%) it’s the up to 105% plus $100k but it might be 115%. Can’t remember. If it’s 115% it would be a total of $7.3 mil and we could give $2.7 mil to O’Neal.

    That’d be a tough pill to swallow coming from $23 mil to $2.7 but he was never worth $23 anyways lol!

  • Perry

    @Jeff

    I beleive Gomes was traded to GS last night. Minn. is stock piling picks with no rhyme or reason.

    Reed has an ETO, but recovering from a knee injury I doubt he’ll shop elsewhere. This year’s salary: $17.5m

  • Jeff

    @ JP

    Any thoughts on Drew Gooden as a possibility? At cheap of course but he is big and can score and rebound.

    Outlaw, Gooden, Blake, Warrick, Oneal, Haywood, Livingston, Foye, Redd, Miller…there’s quite a few 2nd teir type guys that might come a lot cheaper!

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    Redd is staying with the Bucks. Teams with bad long-term deals attached to near-star players (philly) may look to deal for him. The c’s will not.

  • Perry

    @Jeff

    Sounds about right on the Beas/O’Neal trade. JO won’t get much more anyway. Knees are shot. Could he still be productive for 10-15 minutes off the bench?

  • Jeff

    @ Perry

    Gomes went to Portland last night. Min traded him and the 16th pick (Luke Babbit) for Martell Webster.

    Dumb trade for MIN.

  • Jeff

    @ Zach and Perry

    Good points. I forgot his was an ETO. No way he dumps that at $17.5 with an injury. As much the Bucks would love him to!

  • http://celticshub idunno

    My only question with Bradley is was he drafted to be a back up point? Scorer off the bench, eventual starting SG maybe? He is generally listed as a SG and many think his lenghth and athleticism will help him overcome his size. I just cant believe a guy with this much talent has been drafted to be a career back up for rondo.

  • Jeff

    @ Perry

    I’d take Oneal for cheap for sure but yeah he’s really just a jump shooting big now. He does play good D and can rebound so for a low price for 20 mins a game and give him the chance at a ring…I’d take it, but I don’t know if he would.

    That would leave the full MLE for Haywood and our frontline would be solid.

    @ Zach

    Any idea if we can send a pick and $$$ to POR for Rudy? Or would it have to involve a contract? How does the $$$ and picks part work? Do we send that and they we can split his salary or what?

    Thanks man!

  • mike

    @idunno…could be a trade chip down the line like big al or G.green..if dainge has taught us nothing he’s willing to pick up some youngsters let them show what they’ve got and then ship them out…

  • dslack

    @Jeff

    Celtics are over the cap. Therefore, they cannot take back more than 125% of what they send away + $100K. Money included in a trade does not count. Draft picks don’t count either. So, in your scenario, they are sending away $0, so they couldn’t take back more than $100,000 in salary. Rudy Fernandez makes more than that, so the proposed trade doesn’t work.

  • Perry

    Just to put a cap on this thread, I’m sure we’ll be able to fine tune our speculation a bit more a week from today. We’ll certainly know about Pierce, and probably Doc. The coach holds the cards. Last night he took part in the draft, the day before at Waltham. Read into it what you will, but if he stays it’s likely all the familiar pieces will fall into place. It might take some for Ray to test the market, but unless there’s a fabulous 4 year $50m offer he’ll be persuaded to return. When you think about it what coach can reach these personalities and motivate them at this point of their careers the way Doc can?

    So if the core is kept intact it’s a little easier to plug in names. Then it becomes a task of filling in the deficiencies, and from my perspective it’s rebounding and adding one player who can score off the dribble more consistently than Pierce or Rondo.

  • Jeff

    @ Perry

    You’re absolutely right.

    All of this is complete speculation. In reality if we resign Ray and PP, we’ll be over the cap but we were essentially in the same situation when we got the big 3. Everyone said, “they may have the big 3 but who else are they gonna put around them?” 3 years later they ended up with an All Star PG who is a double double/triple double guy every night, a defensive beast center (albeit hurt), 3 future HOF the 2nd best PG in the draft who is also the best NBA ready defender, who can also hit the jumpers, a big time bench guy in Davis, and now what could end up another “undersized” bench scoring and rebounding machine who could end up shocking everyone and being the next Powe. They also have an attractive Trade chip in Wallace, rights to a defensive master in TA as well as some other guys who could be brought back for cheap, as well as vet’s min, MLE and who knows what else Danny could pull out.

    We’ll know more soon, but the C’s still have a lot of work to do before we have the full picture.

    Go get it done Danny! We know you can do it!

  • Kevin

    I was interviewed at the draft but I didnt get in :(

  • Jason

    I would take a flier on Beasley. He’s got some serious flaws to his game but he still has the potential to be a big time scorer. The reason I think so is because he has the ability to drive by his man and get to the hoop. He has no problem with that but what’s been lacking is his willingness to take or create contact and get to the line. Just think back to all the crazy ways he contorted NOT to get hit and take the physical punishment. Perkins or Garnett would be hovering in the air like easy targets and Beasley would perform Matrix like moves to avoid contact. But then again, at least he was in position to draw contact. A lot players can’t even manage that. If somehow he could be swayed to change his mindset, he can get to the line 6 or more times a game and that will propel him into the 20 points a game category. On the other hand, the odds of that happening are long. While he could learn from Pierce, he also had the luxury of learning from Wade how to get fouled and it didn’t make a difference. It may be that he just doesn’t want to take the physical punishment necessary to be great. But if he did, he has the ability to average 26 points a game.

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