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Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Thomas Bryant, Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker

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USA Today Sports

Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Thomas Bryant, Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker

Now that the dust has settled for the 2018-19 Wizards season, it's time to review the roster and hand out individual grades...

Who: Thomas Bryant, center

Age: 21

2018-19 stats: 72 G, 20.8 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 1.3 apg, 6.3 rpg, 0.3 spg, 0.9 bpg, 0.8 tov, 61.6 FG%, 33.3 3P% (0.5/1.4), 64.8 eFG%, 78.1 FT% (1.5/1.9), 130 ortg, 112 drtg

2018-19 salary: $1.4M

Best game: 12/22 vs. Suns - 31 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 14-14 FG

Grade: A

Season review: There was arguably no more positive development for the Wizards this past season than the emergence of Thomas Bryant. Of course, there were many more negatives than positives for the Wizards, but Bryant's breakout season represented a true boon for the franchise.

At just 21 years old, Bryant became an integral piece for the Wizards just months after the Lakers dumped him on the waiver wire. The Wizards pounced and found a diamond in the rough. He is young and athletic, he hustles and has some unique skill for his age with the ability to knock down threes and finish efficiently around the rim.

Bryant, in fact, was so efficient that he set the franchise single-season record for field goal percentage. He has good touch in the post and smart shot selection.

Defense is Bryant's biggest weakness and something he will hope to improve on moving forward. He could also take another step as a rebounder. Depending on who takes over as the team's GM, the Wizards will likely hope that Bryant's career continues in Washington. He is a restricted free agent and will probably draw a good deal of interest due to his upside.

As for the 2018-19 season, he gets one of the highest grades of any player on the team.

Who: Bobby Portis, power forward/center

Age: 24

2018-19 stats (with Wizards): 28 G, 27.4 mpg, 14.3 ppg, 1.5 apg, 8.6 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.4 bpg, 1.6 tov, 44.0 FG%, 40.3 3P% (1.7/4.3), 50.7 eFG%, 80.9 FT% (1.4/1.7), 104 ortg, 112 drtg

2018-19 salary: $2.5M

Best game: 3/29 at Jazz - 28 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, block, 6-12 3PT

Grade: B

Season review: The Wizards got Bobby Portis in the February deal with the Bulls that sent Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago and in doing so made up for a decision they probably wish they had back. Back in June of 2015, the Wizards traded up for Kelly Oubre Jr. when they could have stood pat and drafted Portis. They liked Portis and essentially chose between the two, but had to also give up two second round picks to land Oubre.

If the Wizards had just stayed with the 19th pick and taken Portis, they probably would have been better off. Oubre proved to be a fine player, but Portis was arguably a better fit, in hindsight.

For the final few months of this season, they got to see Portis in a Wizards uniform and it went fairly well. He put up career numbers basically across the board, including a 40.3 three-point percentage. He got along well with teammates and had some truly impressive stat-lines.

But Portis had some limitations on defense and wasn't enough to change the team's course in the standings. And going into this summer, it is hard to see how the Wizards can afford him as he gets set for restricted free agency. 

Portis is only 24 and has clear upside as a stretch-four. Some team is likely going to pay him something close to his reported asking price of about $16 million per year, and it probably won't be the Wizards.

Who: Jabari Parker, forward

Age: 24

2018-19 stats (with Wizards): 25 G, 27.3 mpg, 15.0 ppg, 2.7 apg, 7.2 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.7 tov, 52.3 FG%, 29.6 3P% (1.0/3.2), 56.5 eFG%, 68.4 FT% (2.1/3.0), 105 ortg, 112 drtg

2018-19 salary: $20M

Best game: 3/27 at Suns - 28 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 9-16 FG, 8-10 FT

Grade: B

Season review: Jabari Parker came over from Chicago in the same February trade as Portis and like Portis, he thrived individually with the Wizards. He needed a fresh start from a disastrous tenure in Chicago and was afforded a large role in the offense. He proved a dynamic scorer off the Wizards' bench and one of the best rebounders on the team.

Parker was one of the Wizards' most skilled offensive players. He got to the rim consistently and shot the best percentage on the team (61.5) on drives. 

Parker's defense did not measure up, like many of his teammates. And the points didn't lead to wins. He also turned the ball over a lot and too often was held to single-digit points. 

All in all, though, Parker probably exceeded expectations after the trade. He was also very happy playing in Washington after all that happened with the Bulls.

Parker has a $20 million team option that the Wizards' current front office plans to decline if they remain in charge. Barring something unforeseen, he will not be making that money next year.

But that doesn't mean he can't return. The Wizards could try to sign him back for a cheaper deal and, depending on the new GM's plans, the two sides may prove a fit. 

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Why the Wizards chose Tommy Sheppard as their new general manager

Why the Wizards chose Tommy Sheppard as their new general manager

The process took nearly four months, yet the Wizards ultimately didn't look far for their new general manager, as the team is removing the interim tag from Tommy Sheppard. The longtime NBA executive will now finally get a chance to run his own operation.

Sheppard may not have been the first choice among fans initially when it was announced he would fill in for Ernie Grunfeld, who was dismissed from his post as team president on April 2, but over the past few months he has acclimated himself well, showing in many ways he is prepared to lead a team as the top person in charge. He cleaned up the Wizards' salary cap situation as best he could, giving them some newfound financial flexibility beyond next season.

Sheppard did that while flooding the roster with young, cheap and high-upside players. And he did so by making some tough decisions, ones that helped demonstrate he can provide an organizational reset despite his role in the previous regime. 

Sheppard allowed Tomas Satoransky to walk in free agency despite being central in bringing him to the Wizards, first by scouting him overseas and then by convincing him to join the NBA ranks. He let Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker leave even though he was part of the braintrust that traded for them. And he traded Dwight Howard, again despite playing a role in bringing him to Washington.

Sheppard has operated with impartiality when the team needed him to. What he has done this offseason looks a lot like it probably would have if the Wizards had hired someone from the outside.

How Sheppard navigated the Wizards through the draft and free agency was central in why managing partner Ted Leonsis decided to elevate him to the long-term post. The last several weeks were treated as a "trial run," according to a person familiar with the process.

Sheppard worked closely with the team's ownership group, giving them written proposals for his plans that addressed goals, budget and contingencies. It was a collaborative effort to make the Wizards' roster younger, cheaper and harder working. They also set out to add more international players and accomplished that by drafting Rui Hachimura and by trading for Davis Bertans, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bonga.

Sheppard impressed Leonsis especially during the effort to re-sign Thomas Bryant. Bryant has become a favorite of Leonsis' for his consistent effort, character and enthusiasm. Sheppard and the Wizards were able to agree with Bryant on a new contract the night free agency began. It was quick and painless.

Sheppard himself will be signing a new contract, NBC Sports Washington was told. And there will be major changes to the organizational structure announced this coming week. In the basketball operations side, the team will heavily expand their investment in analytics, by "triple" according to a person familiar with their plans. They will also beef up their scouting department with an eye on Africa and Latin America.

Sheppard has done a nice job for the Wizards but the real work in many ways about to begin. Dismantling an NBA roster is not as difficult as building a contender. Now he has to find pieces to build around John Wall and Bradley Beal that can help the team win something of substance. 

Sheppard will have to do that within the constraints of Wall's supermax contract. And he will have to sort out Beal's future, which could take a turn later this month. 

On July 26, the Wizards can officially offer Beal a contract extension worth approximately $111 million over three years. But there is a long list of clues that suggest he will not take the offer.

How Sheppard, Beal and the Wizards handle the fallout in the event he turns them down would be a test in itself. Maybe they spin it simply as Beal betting on himself. If he makes All-NBA next season, he could make well over $200 million with a five-year supermax.

For Sheppard, the hard work is about to start. He is set to guide the Wizards into a new era, one he and the team hope can reach a higher peak than the last.

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A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

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