Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon. During the proceedings, he talked about the team's plans for the upcoming NBA draft and rumors surrounding Bradley Beal. Wizard insider Fred Katz shared Sheppard's comments on Twitter.
Concerning the draft, the team will allegedly take the same approach as they did last year. They will look to take who they believe to be the best available prospect.
Washington selected Deni Avdija with the ninth overall pick last year. A projected top-five pick on most draft boards, he slid to the back half of the lottery and into the Wizards' hands. Coming into the league, he heaped praise for his length and ability to score with range. Though he gave an underwhelming performance in his rookie season, he has a chance to improve down the line. Washington will select at the 15th slot this year. They hope to supplement their roster with another talent further to add to their quietly rising young core.
To that end, Sheppard also disclosed the Wizards' desire to acquire a second-round pick in this year's draft. Due to minor deals made in past years, the team will be without their second-round draft choice both this year and next. All this means is that they'll have to make a trade to get involved in the second round.
Bradley Beal rumors
Speaking of trades, many rumors have swirled in the last few days about Wizards' star Bradley Beal. Recent reports have suggested that Beal may soon decide to ask for a trade out of Washington. In the days since the first word came out, more speculations have come. Teams reportedly interested in making a deal include the Heat, 76ers, and Warriors, among others.
Unfortunately for those squads, they may have to wait a while to open negotiations. Tommy Sheppard told reporters on the scene that Bradley Beal has not requested a trade from the Wizards. He also voiced that he has remained in contact with Beal and expressed that the rumors are just "outside noise."
How the team proceeds in the coming days should tell us a lot. As the organization continues its shift into a new era of Wizards basketball, they can't know for certain how everything will turn out. That said, we ought to pay close attention to the nation's capital this offseason.