Wizards

Quick Links

Ted Leonsis: Wizards not trading Bradley Beal, John Wall or Otto Porter Jr.

Ted Leonsis: Wizards not trading Bradley Beal, John Wall or Otto Porter Jr.

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is still trying to put those pesky trade rumors to rest.

Speaking with the Washington area radio station WTOP Thursday, Leonsis said they would not be trading John Wall, Bradley Beal or Otto Porter Jr. before the NBA trade deadline.

"We'll see what's out there," Leonsis said when asked if they plan on making any moves. "But I'm not tanking, right? I love when they go, 'trade Bradley Beal. Trade John Wall. Trade Otto Porter.' And I go 'ok, for who?' We're not trading any of those players."

With the Wizards sitting at 22-29 and ninth in the Eastern Conference finals, many saw two options for the Wizards just several months into the season; tank or trade away one of the star players. Leonsis told reporters earlier this month in London that the team had no plans to tank, which tampered down the trade talk surrounding Beal and Wall. But Porter and to a lesser extent Beal's name has consistently surfaced as potential trade assets that teams would call about  - despite Leonsis' pledge to be all in on this season.

“We’re going to try and fight our [expletive] off right now and get into the playoffs,” Beal told NBC Sports Washington last week. “It’s just a matter of us getting it done. I appreciate [Leonsis’] trust and his honesty in that category, his trust in and his trust in the team to be able to get this job done.”

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed. 

Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer. 

According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Summer League allowed Wizards to experiment with Issuf Sanon's position

Summer League allowed Wizards to experiment with Issuf Sanon's position

Issuf Sanon remains very much a blank canvass as an NBA prospect. The Wizards' 2018 second-round pick is only 19 years old and still spending most of his time overseas, this past season playing professional ball in Slovenia.

So, the Wizards see the current stage of his career as an opportunity for experimentation. During Sanon's time in the Las Vegas Summer League, the Wizards toyed with him as a shooting guard despite the fact he was drafted as a point guard by trade.

Sanon spent much of his time on the floor during four Summer League games off the ball. It was an adjustment for Sanon, but one the team feels he is well-suited for due to his size at 6-foot-4.

"He's still picking up the game, still learning," Wizards Summer League head coach Robert Pack said. "I don't want to put a lot of pressure on him to be a point guard or to be an off-guard."

Sanon didn't exactly take to the new role quickly. In his four Summer League games, he averaged only 1.5 points and a rebound while shooting 18.2 percent from the field. He even missed his free throws.

But beyond the stats, the trademark aggression Sanon usually has was mostly missing. He usually runs around the court with reckless abandon, sometimes to a fault. In the 2018 Summer League he got into foul trouble too quickly and stood out for slapping the floor on defense.

Those in the Wizards' front office rave about his motor and the edge he brings to the game. He almost has too much energy and the Wizards have no qualms with that. They say it's easier to reel that in than to ask a player to ramp it up out of nowhere.

But in the shooting guard role, Sanon did not appear comfortable, at least on offense.

"[I have to focus on] cuts, baseline, back screens," Sanon said of the difference in playing as a two-guard. "Like how we do in Europe, not play 1-on-1. Small cuts, back doors and stuff like that."

Without a consistent jumper, Sanon's ceiling off the ball on offense appears low at this point. Developing a three-pointer that other teams have to respect would be crucial for him becoming a combo guard long-term.

Defensively is where it makes more sense. Sanon is better on that end of the floor and has the size to defend shooting guards. He is tall and also strong. He is not your average, lanky 19-year-old basketball player.

Sanon has the size to play physical defense and the quickness to stay in front of point guards, at least at the Summer League level.

"I like to play defense. It starts on defense. If I play good defense, I have a good game," he said.

It may be another year or several before Sanon makes the leap to the United States to play for the Wizards. When he does, expect explosive athleticism and a commitment to the defensive end. 

Whether he will arrive as a point guard or something different, though, now appears to be up in the air.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: