A little less than two weeks after being selected third overall in the June 28 NBA draft, Bradley Beal stepped onto the practice court at Verizon Center on Monday morning for the first time as a member of the Washington Wizards.
The prized 6-foot-5 shooting guard joined 13 other players, including Wizards second-round pick Tomas Satoransky and 2011 draftees Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack, for the first day of minicamp in preparation for the NBA summer league that begins on Friday in Las Vegas.
Wizards Coach Randy Wittman and his staff, meantime, will be working with Beal to get him acclimated to the pace of NBA play as he gets to know several of his new teammates during the four-day minicamp.
Wittman said Monday morning’s session, which was not open to reporters except for a post-workout shootaround, consisted largely of drills and half-court work. The evening session, he said, would include full-court play more in line with actual game situations.
“The intensity was there. I think everybody was happy and excited to actually be able to put on a Wizards uniform and get out there,” said Beal, who averaged 14.8 points per game in his only season at Florida. “They threw a lot of stuff at us, but we all took it in, and I can’t wait for summer league, honestly.”
Beal practiced three-point shooting and did some work from the foul line for some 10 minutes following the two-hour workout that was the first of seven this week. The team is scheduled to have two-a-days through Wednesday and one two-hour practice on Thursday before departing for Las Vegas.
Wittman said at this point he doesn’t anticipate bringing all 14 minicamp participants to Las Vegas. Among the invitees to camp not on the Wizards roster are fomer Duke forward Shav Randolph, former Indiana University guard Earl Calloway and ex-Penn State guard Jeff Brooks.
“It’s just good to be back out here,” Wittman said. “Last year at this time we were pulling our hair out, not being able to have any contact and sitting around waiting for a lockout to end that never ended until December.
“This is good for our kids, Chris and Jan and Shelvin who didn’t have an opportunity last year, and obviously Bradley and Tomas in this year’s draft. This is invaluable work that we’re able to get in and continue the development of our young guys.”
Beal officially became an NBA player on Friday, when he signed his rookie scale contract. The first two years of the contract are guaranteed for approximately $8.3 million, and the Wizards have one-year options for the third and fourth years.
Beal is slotted to earn roughly $3.4 million next season under terms of the contracts negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement, although he was eligible to receive 120 percent of that amount.
Since it is usually a formality for teams to provide a 20 percent pay increase to first-rounders, Beal’s salary was elevated to $4.13 million.
“There’s a lot of things I have to learn,” Beal said. “There’s a lot of adjustments I have to make as well. I’m really just trying to learn quick and just be able to try to fit in the system as best as I can.”