Bradley Beal had a difficult start to his career, suffering leg injuries each of his first four seasons in the NBA, but he’s already setting records for early success.
On Monday night, Beal became the youngest player in NBA history to make 700 3-pointers. He entered the evening with 699 career triples.
Beal became just the sixth player in NBA history to make 700 3s before his 25th birthday. The other five players: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Jennings, Klay Thompson, J.R. Smith. Durant is a surefire Hall of Famer, and Irving and Thompson each have a shot; Jennings, despite his recent career developments, was a promising volume scorer early in his career, and Smith is one of the league’s great microwave scorers.
Beal is much closer to Thompson than any of the others on that list, though he’s nowhere near the scorer Thompson has proven to be when he’s hot.
The accomplishment ultimately doesn’t mean all that much, as demonstrated by the presence of Jennings and Smith on that list, and it’s basically just a compilation of shooters who were permitted to launch a high volume of shots early in their careers.
Then again, of those six players, Beal has attempted the fewest 3-pointers prior to turning 25, and he’s shooting the second-highest percentage from beyond the arc. His .398 trails only Thompson (.418), and his total minutes played is third behind Thompson and Smith.
Considering Beal’s spotty start to his career, and the substantial uptick he’s enjoyed over the past two seasons or so, this is encouraging. He’s improved each year of his career, something only Irving, Thompson and Durant have done, which bodes well.
In other words: This isn’t some incredible accomplishment, but it’s a clear sign of improvement and positive things to come.