CHICAGO: Bradley Beal has heard the whispers and in fact appears to share some of the same concerns about his size. As a result, he took an interesting approach at Thursday’s scouting combine, promoting himself as a combo guard to alleviate any concerns about his 6-foot-4 frame.
Just the fact Beal measured in at 6-foot-4 should be a bit of a relief. He was listed as 6-3 at Florida and at least a few in the NBA were concerned he could measure in even smaller, which would affect his draft stock at shooting guard.
Beal averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds during his one season at Florida. With most shooting guards in the league standing a good two inches taller, Beal must find a way to defend larger, explosive players.
“I know I’m not the average height of a shooting guard, but that’s why I want to become a combo guard and start developing my ball handling more to become a point guard,” Beal said. “I have confidence in myself to be able to [defend]. I know there may be times where I’m going to struggle, but I know I’m going to get bigger and stronger so I can use some of my quickness and ability to create an advantage for myself.”
The Cavs are high on Beal and would consider him with the fourth pick — if the Washington Wizards don’t select him third. Reports are already linking the Wizards to Beal as a backcourt mate for John Wall, although sometimes fact and fiction are hard to separate around draft days.
When he declared for the NBA, Beal was projected to be a lottery pick. Now he probably will go in the first five or six picks.
Beal was expected to meet with Cavs executives Thursday night, although no private workout has been scheduled. “I would love to play with Kyrie Irving,” Beal said.
Connecticut center Andre Drummond has heard for weeks that he doesn’t have a high motor and he’s not passionate about basketball. He said Thursday that’s simply not true.
“I smile all the time when I play the game of basketball,” Drummond said. “I enjoy the game, I love the game. I just never show signs of being mad or upset. I guess some people want to see me be angry or show emotion, but that’s not the player I am. I don’t like beating my chest, I don’t like yelling. I’m more of a happy person, but I love playing the game.”
The Cavs are taking a serious look at Drummond despite the “project” label that has been assigned to him. He has all the athletic tools needed to be a dominant center, but his offensive game needs work. He readily admitted he doesn’t have a back to the basket game that is important for most centers.
“But that’s the only thing I’ve been working on for the past two months,” he said. “I have a lot of moves I’ve been working on.”
Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor worked out for the Cavs two weeks ago, but said he wasn’t thrilled with how it went. Still, he’s a defensive-minded point guard who could back up Kyrie Irving. … Baylor’s Perry Jones met with Cavs representatives on Thursday, but doesn’t have a workout scheduled. … Damian Lillard, the explosive scoring point guard from Weber State, said the Cavs sent a representative to watch his private workout recently, but he hasn’t visited Cleveland. … Kentucky shooting guard Doron Lamb has a workout scheduled with the Cavs for next week. … Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli will visit Cleveland for a private workout on June 18.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.