Wizards had Bradley Beal in their draft room to discuss changes that would help complement him
The Washington Wizards have taken a carefully inclusive approach to this offseason, keeping All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal in the cockpit of it all, as a large part of their future hinges on his presence with the franchise.
New general manager Tommy Sheppard brought Beal into the draft room to help guide the direction of the franchise, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Wizards opted to go with players who come from a strong winning culture and know what it takes to achieve that success.
They did just that, drafting Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura in the lottery and Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield in the second round.
Beal has long been a strong proponent of Sheppard, even supporting what would have been a no-brainer quick and painless promotion to a full-fledged spot in the front office after president Ernie Grunfeld was fired at the end of the season after 16 seasons with the team.
It’s likely Beal won’t have backcourt partner John Wall perhaps at all this upcoming season, making his supporting cast all the more important. The All-Star shooting guard will be eligible for a three-year, $111 million contract extension later this week, but even if he chooses not to sign it (and it’s likely he won’t), a strong connection and rapport with Sheppard could prove a good link of stability after many changes over the course of a year.
Sheppard is doing things by the book by letting Beal feel included in these decisions and letting him know that his opinion matters, as he has already taken over as the team’s franchise player.