At the media session in New York, Jeff Garcia from News 4 San Antonio’s Spurs Zone had a chance to talk with Florida State’s Malik Beasley.
Beasley mentioned to Garcia that he did have an official workout with the Spurs and spoke highly of the franchise. Projected on many draft boards as going No. 20, Beasley more than likely will not be there when the Spurs pick at No. 29.
“It was great,” said Beasley. “I did a lot of different things there – mentally and did some yoga. A lot of different things. Shot the ball, and met with the whole staff. They have a great staff out there.”
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Standing 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, Malik Beasley doesn’t quite have elite physical tools for an NBA shooting guard, but he’s an impressive athlete, excellent shooter and aggressive slasher who brings an energetic approach to the floor.
During his visit with San Antonio, he also had a chance to meet with R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich and stated the meeting “went good”.
“I met with Mr. R.C. (Buford) and (Gregg) Popovich. They told me they liked my shooting ability and my will to win. They have a model about the rock and that’s how I see things too. It was good.”
Beasley does a lot of damage in the open court – 26.9 percent of his offense, according to Synergy Sports – by using his speed to sprint to the rim and his explosiveness to catch lobs or hammer home tomahawk dunks. Although not the most polished ball handler, Beasley is more than capable of grabbing a rebound and getting to the front of the rim himself. Florida State plays at the 30th-fastest pace in the NCAA, according to KenPom.com, and Beasley’s athleticism is a big reason why.
Jan 4, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Malik Beasley (5) in the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The North Carolina Tar Heels won 106-90. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
The key word that is used over and over again when Beasley is being mentioned is athleticism, and that’s an area of need for San Antonio to improve on. In the half court, Beasley plays a simple and efficient game, one that’s predicated on catch-and-shoot jumpers, one- or two-dribble pull-ups, straight-line drives and movement without the basketball.
As a shooter, Beasley is very sound mechanically, showing outstanding shot preparation before the catch, tremendous balance, quick elevation as he goes into his motion, and a clean wrist action at the top of his jump that produces a healthy amount of backspin. Beasley can shoot off the hop or after planting one foot after another, an important skill for shooting on the move and under duress.
With defenders having to respect Beasley’s catch-and-shoot jumper, which yields 1.175 points per possession, he’s able to use his athleticism to attack scrambling defenders to get into a mid-range pull-up, floater or finish at the rim. Beasley displays the same impressive mechanics on his pull-up that he does on his catch-and-shoot jumper, which should help him become more of a versatile scorer as his ball-handling improves.
The final part of Beasley’s scoring arsenal comes in the paint, where he employs his explosiveness and aggressive nature to finish at the hoop or get to the line. Beasley also shows flashes of a floater that he’s able to mix in when a help-side defender is loading up to take a charge or the rim protector is in perfect position.
Although he’s not much of a shot creator at this stage, Beasley’s ability to score efficiently is certainly a coveted skill in today’s NBA.
Beasley is a player that the Spurs need with his skill set. If he happens to fall down in the Spurs lap, they should take a chance and select him.