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Tommy Sheppard says Washington has no plans to trade Bradley Beal if he declines extension

Tommy Sheppard, Bradley Beal

The Washington Wizards are hopeful that Bradley Beal will re-affirm his commitment by signing a multi-year extension later this week. But even if the ever-improving guard opts against putting pen to paper, general manager Tommy Sheppard is adamant Washington will hang on to him.

Sheppard, appointed the Wizards’ full-time chief decision-maker last week after holding the title on an interim basis over the past three months, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the team has “no plans” to trade Beal should he decide not to sign the three-year, $111 million extension that will be offered to him on Friday, the first allowable date. Rather, Washington, in the earliest stages of an arduous rebuilding process, will strive to “show” Beal it’s on the track toward legitimacy.

“He’s got two years left on his deal, and he’s from Missouri and we are going to have to show him,” Sheppard said. “We need to show him that we are about building this the right way, that we aren’t going to have character-deficient guys around him. We are going to surround him with guys he wants to play with. He saw that right away in free agency with us bringing back Thomas Bryant.”

Beal won’t become a free agent until the summer of 2021, but given the Wizards’ clotted cap sheet and lack of young talent on the roster, it’s broadly expected he prefers to continue his career elsewhere rather than waste precious years of his prime playing for a team without realistic hopes of contention. The 26-year-old took his game to another level last season despite his team’s struggles, averaging 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game – all career-highs – while pulling off the difficult feat of upping his usage and efficiency and lowering his turnover rate.