With both Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal finishing the USA Basketball Mini-Camp, let’s take a look at the future of the non-big men Gators in the NBA. Both were obviously chosen for this camp because of their bright future in the NBA and possibly with USA Basketball.
Parsons broke out for the Rockets this season, raising his numbers in almost every statistical category. While there is no doubt that Chandler is an above average player and possibly headed to an All-Star game sometime in the future, his 15.33 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) reveals him as only a mediocre role player. This does not do Parsons justice as one of the top rising small forwards in the league.
Besides for overall decision making, which comes with time, Parsons most improved his three point shooting. His 33% shooting from beyond the arc his rookie season rose to 38% last season. Defenders noticed his improved shooting and began to close out harder. Parsons then started taking advantage of the shot fake, which enabled him to get better looks and attack the rim.
In addition to the shot making and faking, the Rockets forward has developed his finishing at the rim, taking advantage of his athleticism to finish through and around contact. He has been putting players on posters throughout his career but he has also showed his ability to avoid defenders.
With his size and length, most people WOULD have Parsons pegged as an elite defender but many opponents have picked him apart this year. He will have to improve his lateral quickness and foot technique if he wants to become a premier defender.
In half court sets and in transition, Parsons always has his eyes up and is ready to make the right pass. He can thread the needle up court and hit the bigs down low. That was Omir Asik but now it will be Dwight Howard.
One aspect of his game that Parsons talked about while leaving Florida was his post up ability. He believed that he could take advantage of smaller matchups and score in the post. This is one part of his game I have not seen develop much but mostly because it is not really needed by the Rockets.
In addition to his on the court growth, Parsons played a pivotal role in the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes. It was reported that Parsons and Howard texted a lot, even before Howard became a free agent. Parsons was present at the Rockets’ pitch meeting to Howard in Los Angeles.
Most four year college players do not have much room to grow in the NBA but Parsons has already shown us glimpses of why he could be a future All-Star and vital part of a NBA Championship team.
Outside of the dominant big men and Parsons, Bradley Beal is another UF alumni with a great future in the NBA. He was sidelined at the end of the season due to a fibula injury and it also kept him from the summer league. He finally recovered in time for the USA mini camp (even if it was just to shoot around).
Beal has a smooth stroke from everywhere on the court and has no problem taking big shots. This and his ferocity while attacking the rim landed him third on the NBA Rookie Of the Year ballot.
As a shooting guard, Beal handles the ball exceptionally well and also rebounds consistently for his position. The Wizards’ guard can also d up well; he moves quickly and gets up in opponents’ faces.
His shooting compliments great with John Wall, who often struggles from beyond the arc. With Otto Porter now in the mix, the Wizards have a formidable backcourt that can, sometime in the future, challenge in the East.
Beal certainly has a chance at becoming an All-Star as well, if he sharpens some aspects of his game. The Wizards are still a long way from contending for a NBA Title, but the former All American is already a centerpiece in a young and talented squad that has the sky as their limit.