Ideally, Bradley Beal won't have to log as many minutes in his fourth season with the Wizards. This will be the most backup he has had on the perimeter which could allow him to be more effective in the long run and avoid recurring injuries to his ankles and lower right leg.
"I like them. We have a great group of guys," Beal said about new acquisitions Gary Neal, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Kelly Oubre in a phone conversation last week. "I think Jared is going to help us out tremendously. Alan is going to help us out. ... I'm excited. We still have a great team, still have our core together and it's just a matter of going out and getting the job done again."
Neal is a natural shooting guard who averages 9.9 points for his career. Oubre played some at that spot, too, during Las Vegas summer league. Given the depth the Wizards have at small forward, with Otto Porter, Dudley, Anderson and Martell Webster, this presents them with a lot of combinations that weren't previously available to coach Randy Wittman.
Beal has averaged 34 minutes per game the last two seasons but has yet to play a complete one because of stress reactions to his lower right leg, precursors to season-ending fractures. Beal typically plays a lot of minutes early and fades late. But in the last two postseasons, when the Wizards advanced to the conference semifinals, he shined.
They lost Paul Pierce to free agency, but Beal is content with what he has seen in Oubre, who works out with the same strength and conditioning coach for his individual work (Drew Hanlen).
"I watched one summer league game. I love his aggression, he's real long and athletic," he said of Oubre, who has a 7-2 wingspan on his 6-7 frame. "It's something that's going to help us out a lot. Him and Otto are really going to be competing. Kelly needs to work on a few things. I love his mentality, his approach to the game. People say he's a little arrogant, a little cocky. We love to have that little swagger about him."