By Marcus Thompson
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 9:27 am in Uncategorized.
Comparison: This a tough one. People are saying Amare Stoudemire, but I’d say picture a shorter Amare with outside shooting ability, though not quite as athletic. Or, picture Carmelo Anthony with an inside game, a bit better handle but not as good an outside shot. Better yet, Beasley is what the Warriors thought/hoped they were getting in Billy Owens.
Strengths: They say he’s undersized, but I’m not buying it. Would you like him 6-foot-10? Sure. But at 6-foot-9 (which usually means he’s closer to 6-8 or even 6-7), 235 pounds with his athleticism, he’ll be just find. Because of his grown man’s strength and leaping ability, he plays bigger than his size. But what makes his special is that because of his quickness and skill set, he also plays smaller than his size. That’s a tough combo. Not too many people have his inside-outside ability (which is why it is so tough to find a comparison). His back-to-the-basket game is not to the level of an Elton Brand, especially against NBA defense, but he can handle his own down there and he certainly has the tools to get better. He has a soft touch inside, great hands, knows how to throw his weight around and is agile enough to move with fluidity among the trees. And his instinct, which is so necessary for a post game, is spot on. But right now, his perimeter game is his best feature, especially because he’s so big for that role. He can handle the ball, can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor, already has a pull-up in his bag of tricks. Plus, he’s a lefty, so it looks pretty.
What most impresses me about him is that he has the intangibles to match his talent. He works hard on the glass (he averaged four offensive rebounds!) and battles for position. He seems to have an understanding of defensive concepts, which shows in his ability to play passing lanes and block shots from the weakside. And he has a natural scoring knack. He just finds ways to put the ball in the hole. You can take away something, but he still can score in other ways. His productivity in college was historic: 26.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 steals.
Weaknesses: People say his size. To be sure, it will cause him some problems on the defensive end when he’s matched up against taller players. But once he learns how to use his athleticism to his advantage on that end, it won’t be that big of an issue. A bigger issue is the Superman complex he has. Confidence is a must, but this dude looks arrogant to me. At times he tried to take over when patience was necessary. He doesn’t take smart shots and it comes back to haunt his team. He apparently knows he can knockdown fadeaway jumpers and go one-on-four, because he has no problem attempting to do so at the wrong times. It’s hard to tell if he’s a team player because Kansas State needed him to be a beast, but 1.2 assists per game is unacceptable for someone with his talent. Another big concern in my opinion, is his overall work ethic. There have been whispers about it, and his game, you can tell, is based totally on talent and physical dominance. I don’t worry about his attitude problems so much. He’s been an NBA prospect since middle school. It’s hard to stay humble. And he stayed under control this season, by all accounts. But it’s something teams should be paying attention to. There are some tangible things he needs to work on — dribbling with his right hand, developing a go-to move in the post, defensive technique — but that’s to be expected from a 19 year old.
Fit with the Warriors: He’s not the answer to their big man prayers, but he’d be a great plan B. He rebounds, which the Warriors desperately need, and he has some back-to-the-basket skills, which the Warriors can use. Most important, he’s potentially a match-up nightmare, which fits perfectly into Nellie’s system. The fact that he’s not a definite small or power forward is a problem for some teams, but the Warriors love swingmen. He can be a big man in their small lineup and still take advantage of his little man skills because of the Warriors style of play. He can score, which is a must for Nellie. And he has the ability to pull big men out of the paint with his outside shot.
Chances of ending up a Warrior: Slim to none. Whether he goes 1 or 2, His value is way too high. Miami or Chicago want more than what the Warriors are willing to give, or even have. Dwyane Wade said in a story that ran today that he’s heard his name mentioned in trade rumors with Chicago. If that’s what the Bulls are requiring for the top pick, the Warriors can forget about it. Miami does need to fill their roster, and would assuredly like Monta and/or Brandan Wright and/or Marco Belinelli. But that is likely not enough to pass up on what is being described as sure bets in Beasley and Rose.
Here is a look at the Beastley one: