Mar 18, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal (23) brings the ball up the court against the Norfolk State Spartans during the first half in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Exhibit G takes us through the good, bad, ugly and weird of the Kings drafting Bradley Beal.
Despite an abundance of options in the back court, the Kings select yet another shooting guard. Skepticism abounds as to how the Kings will manage the minutes of Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, and now Bradley Beal. The pick is regarded as a strong pick in terms of talent, but bad in terms of fit. Geoff Petrie smiles a knowing smile.
Beal and Isaiah Thomas put on a clinic in the Vegas Summer League, with Beal removing any questions about his shooting. He looks dominant on both ends of the court. The only question is if his production can hold up against NBA regulars.
Tyreke Evans has devoted his offseason to understanding the small forward role. He's spent countless hours developing a mid-range jump shot, and learning how to move off the ball within an offense. Finally healthy and with a clear plan for what is expected in the offseason, Tyreke arrives in training camp a legitimate small forward.
The season begins with promise. The recently-extended Jason Thompson pairs nicely with the still-improving DeMarcus Cousins to give the Kings a legitimate NBA front court. Tyreke draws rave reviews for his play at small forward. Still possessing a killer first step, Reke has become the nightmare everyone expected now that opposing defenders must respect his jumper.
Beal starts the season coming off the bench behind Thornton and plays well. Beal gives the Kings a legitimate shooting threat from long range, and proves to be a capable defender. Before long, fans are clamoring for Beal to be the starter. He's dead even with Thornton in terms of scoring, but is a far better defender. Beal takes over as the starter shortly before the All Star break. The Kings guard rotation settles with Isaiah and Beal starting, with Tyreke generating All Star buzz at small forward, with Thornton in the role of super 6th man. Jimmer Fredette has also moved well past his rookie yips, and runs the point for the second unit. Beal and Fredette spread the floor, and are encouraged to gun their hearts out. Garcia waves a towel like nobody's business.
The Kings tear through the second half of the season and secure the 8th seed. In the first round the Kings fall to the reigning champion Thunder in 6 games, but the season is viewed as a huge success. Between the playoff berth and the NBA's rejection of the Maloof's relocation filing, the fans have reason to cheer. Shortly after the Kings are eliminated from the playoffs, the Maloofs announce that they have sold the Kings to billionaire Ron Burkle. Burkle immediately partners with mayor Kevin Johnson to move forward with a new sports and entertainment complex. The project faces a slight delay as Burkle requests the original plan be revised, citing the original plan as being "not ambitious enough". Burkle states he understands the sacrifice the city has already made, and assures the public that he will cover any new costs associated with the plan updates.
The Kings become playoff regulars. Tyreke Evans, Bradley Beal, Isaiah Thomas, and DeMarcus Cousins lead the Kings to an NBA Championship in the first season in the new arena, named the Sactown Royalty Sports Complex.