Big free agent names like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irvining, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard all were off the menu for GM Tommy Sheppard this offseason.
But that didn't mean Sheppard didn't make some solid under-the-radar moves to position Washington for the years ahead.
In his Thursday column, NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh writes that there is more to the 2019-2020 Wizards team than meets the eye.
They quietly added one of the league’s best snipers in stretch-four Davis Bertans, who made a blistering 58 percent of his corner 3-pointers last season.
Bertans was drafted by the Pacers in 2011, but remained in Europe until he was signed by the Spurs in 2016. After three seasons in San Antonio he is heading to Washington via a three-team trade with Brooklyn.
Sheppard also resigned 21 year-old big man Thomas Bryant for just $17 million over 3 years. Bryant averaged 10.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg in his first full season after being discarded by the Lakers the previous year. Even without John Wall, Haberstroh believes Bryant should help Washington take a step forward.
Notably, without John Wall, the Wizards posted a positive net rating last season with Beal, (Troy) Brown Jr and Bryant on the floor, per PBP Stats. Getting Bryant on a three-year, $17 million deal was a shrewd move by Tommy Sheppard.
The Wizards used their No. 9 pick on Gonzaga PF Rui Hachimura, who has scored 14 and 19 points in his first two Summer League games, respectively. He's expected to rotate with Bertans and the 19 year-old sophomore Brown at the four.
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