Where does Bradley Beal appear in the NBA player rankings?

It’s off-season player rankings season! Cue the confetti and fireworks.

Every year, when the NBA calendar comes to a halt after free agency, outlets everywhere rank the best players in the league. While some may argue that it’s a pointless exercise, lists like this are undeniably fun to discuss as well.

They can also be a somewhat valuable resource when comparing talent across the league. For example, regardless of how you feel about the value of a top 100 player list, if a team has a lot of players on that list, it’s probably a pretty good team.

Player rankings are starting to trickle across the internet and so far they reflect what has been a bad year for Bradley Beal. It all goes back to what Wizards president Tommy Sheppard said right after the end of the 2021-22 season. This was before the team re-signed Beal to a five-year supermax contract.

Sheppard felt that Beal was on the brink of being written off by many people after playing a career-low 40 games last season and a career-low 30% of three.

“I see things about Bradley and I wonder, my God, are we talking about the same player? He’s a special player, one of the best in his position in the NBA,” Sheppard said.

Some recent rankings follow there. The Athletic recently ranked the top 125 players in the NBA and broken down into tiers. Beal was in the 3B tier and ranked 32nd among all NBA players. Although Beal was in the same level the year before, he was ranked 24th overall. That in itself may have been a minor feat, as Beal had just made All-NBA, which honors the top-15 players in the league.

Another recent list may be surprising. Hoops Hype ranked the best shooting guards in the NBA and has Beal sixth. He sits behind 1) Devin Booker 2) Donovan Mitchell 3) Jaylen Brown 4) Zach LaVine and 5) Anthony Edwards. Beal just signed the second largest contract in the NBA, but he is listed by this outlet as the sixth best player in his position.

Admittedly, looking at that list reminds you how much talent there is in the NBA right now. Shooting guard isn’t even the most loaded position in the league, but there are a lot of good ones out there. LaVine, for example, last season averaged 24.4 points per game and shot 38.9% from three out of 7.1 attempts per game. Those are excellent numbers for a man ranked as the 4th best shooting guard in the league.

While there may not be much between the two best guards, Beal’s production from just two seasons ago would arguably warrant a much higher ranking than sixth. He averaged 31.3 points per game while shooting a career-best 48.5% from the field. However, that was two seasons ago and Beal will have to prove that he can be that player again.

The Wizards signing Beal to a new contract this summer has been a lucrative vote of confidence that he can do just that. They count on a much larger sample of Beal as one of the league’s top scorers.

While he averaged 23.2 points in 40 games last season, he averaged 28.7 points over the previous three seasons in 199 regular-season games.

At the same off-season press conference, Sheppard went on to say he expects Beal to prove opponents wrong.

“It’s not a revenge tour or anything like that, but he wants to reaffirm that ‘hey, I’m one of the best players in the league’. The only way you can do that is come back, get results and earn points. That’s a challenge he enjoys,” Sheppard said.

NBC Sports Washington’s list, compiled by Mike DePrisco, has Beal as the 19th best player in the league, for what it’s worth. That’s much better than 32nd overall and sixth among shooting guards, although Beal has a chance to make that look like a punch when he returns to his 2020-21 form.

In the meantime, expect more lists like the Athletic’s and Hoops Hype’s to come out. And while they do, it’s possible that Beal will be belittled (arguably) by more outlets.

That’s how it is at this time of year.

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