WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal is in his 10th year with the Wizards organization, but his connections to Tommy Sheppard go back further than that. Sheppard was blown away scouting Beal as a 16-year-old and did much of the legwork, then as the Wizards' assistant GM, before the team drafted him third overall in 2012.
Beal has grown up quite a bit in the last 10 years, all while Sheppard has continued to climb the ranks in the front office. He was promoted to general manager in 2019 and then, this past week, was moved up to team president.
The two have been part of many highs and lows, as well as some high-pressure contract negotiations. Through it all, Beal has grown to like Sheppard on a personal level, so he was thrilled to see him get his promotion and contract extension.
Beal said he was "extremely ecstatic" to hear the news, and also gave a shoutout to Sashi Brown, who was promoted to president of Monumental Basketball.
Of Sheppard, Beal said: "I see Shep in here every single day. He's very in tune, he cares. He's an awesome person and he loves the game. He just wants his team to do well, he wants his team to get better and he holds us to a certain standard. I respect it and I love it. I'm definitely happy for him. He's just constantly working, he's constantly checking on me, checking on everybody. He's a great GM, I'm happy for him and his promotion and his next few years here."
Sheppard signed on for more years with the Wizards and so did starting center Daniel Gafford last month. Both happened while Beal has been mulling a contract extension offer of his own.
Beal appears to be waiting to make that decision, as he is both able to and stands to make more money down the road if he does. As the organization continues to solidify its future, maybe Beal will be next when the timing is right.