Sheppard says Wizards could trade up from 9th pick

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The Wizards received the ninth overall pick in Thursday night's draft lottery, but that doesn't mean they will be picking there on draft night in October.

General manager Tommy Sheppard insisted in his post-lottery press conference that the team will explore all scenarios, including trading up for a higher selection.

"I can't say this enough. Everything is on the table for us to get better as a franchise. So, these picks, if we can take two picks and move up and somebody wants to do that, we'll entertain that," Sheppard said.

If the Wizards stay at nine, they should have some good options. Maybe rim protector Onyeka Okongwu of USC is on the board or high-upside guard Killian Hayes from France. Devin Vassell of Florida State would fit well as a wing defender, so would Precious Achiuwa of Memphis for his rebounding.

But if the Wizards do trade up, perhaps they could target someone like Tyrese Haliburton of Iowa State or Obi Toppin of Dayton. Or, they could swing really big for one of the top prospects like James Wiseman of Memphis, Anthony Edwards of Georgia or LaMelo Ball of Illawarra.

In order to do that, the Wizards would likely have to give up quite a bit more than the ninth and 37th overall picks. But Sheppard will look into all options.

"I have eight calls to make tomorrow and over the course of the next week, to talk to the teams ahead of us and see what their needs are and see what they want to do. Then, talk to the teams behind us and see what their needs are," Sheppard said.


Sheppard added he is "very, very open" to adding another second round pick, either by purchasing one from another team or via trade. The Wizards may be sitting at No. 9 and 37 on the board as of today, but it sounds like there is a good chance they don't stay there.