Florida State freshman guard Malik Beasley has decided to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, he and the school announced over Twitter on Monday night.
Beasley, a 6-foot-5 scoring guard from Alpharetta, Georgia, averaged 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his season at Florida State. He is currently ranked as the No. 29 player on CBS Sports’ NBA Draft Big Board.
“Florida State University, Coach (Leonard) Hamilton and his staff were absolutely the best choices I could have made when I was deciding which college I would attend,” Beasley said in a statement. “The friendships I have formed with my teammates will last my entire lifetime. The things I have learned and the growth I have realized this season as both a person and player have made me confident that I can take the next step in realizing my dreams to play at the next level.”
Beasley is currently projected to go as high as the late teens or as low as the early second round. Barring injury, the guard should be in good position to secure a guaranteed contract for next season.
“Malik is a wonderful young man and we are very happy for him and his family,” Hamilton said. “He enjoyed a great freshman year and we are looking forward to watching him as he realizes his dreams. He was an outstanding player for our basketball team, is a young man of tremendous character and is an extremely hard worker. We are behind Malik and know he will be successful in everything he does because he is such a quality person both on and off the basketball court.”
Beasley is currently viewed as likely to stay in the draft, a source indicted to CBS Sports, as opposed to simply testing the waters to get his stock. That makes sense on multiple levels. First, the 2016 draft is relatively weak in comparison to the 2017 iteration due to weakness of the freshman class. Second, coming off of a strong freshman season, Beasley is currently viewed as a solid bet due to his athleticism, ability to create his own looks, and his scoring ability at all three levels.
His shot chart from this past season at Florida State indicates that strong shooting ability.
The numbers to note regarding Beasley revolve around his tremendous efficiency when scoring the basketball. Beasley shot about 52 percent from 2-point range, 39 percent from 3-point range, and 81 percent from the foul line. He also finished particularly well around the rim for a freshman in a league as difficult as the ACC, hitting 66 percent of his looks at the rim, a well above-average rate. He’s also known as an extremely hard worker with a high motor on the floor.
Concerns about Beasley going forward revolve around his solid but unspectacular height and length, at 6-foot-5 with a 6-7 wingspan, as well as his ability to make plays for others and defend consistently. In terms of his physical profile, he’s quite similar to Rashad Vaughn, who went No. 17 overall last season to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Overall, a pretty easy decision to declare for Beasley, given where his stock currently is.