Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard put it in plain terms and did so in a variety of ways. Despite trade rumors circling John Wall and a reported trade request, the five-time All-Star is going nowhere soon as the team gets set to begin training camp in one week.
"There's no plans to trade John. Obviously, it's unfortunate that this time of year, I think the bait-and-tackle shop is wide open for business. There are a lot of people that get excited on the internet or whatnot," Sheppard said.
In fact, Sheppard just watched Wall work out on Monday morning, hours before addressing the media in a press conference that was supposed to be about free agency and instead was dominated by Wall questions. Sheppard said Wall looked great as he nears his return from the Achilles surgery that has kept him out for nearly two calendar years.
Sheppard seems to be looking ahead with the same goal he's had for a long time that is reuniting Wall and Bradley Beal with a strong supporting cast.
"It's a new story now with John and Bradley versus it's not a sequel," Sheppard said. "I can't respond to rumors. I can't respond to things that are out there other than let's keep our head down and do what's best for the Wizards."
Here are a few other ways Sheppard expressed confidence in Wall's future in Washington, just so you can get a sense of the variety:
Of re-signing Davis Bertans: "I think that gives John another shooter that only adds to his amazing passing abilities."
Of Wall and Beal: "I can't wait to see those two together again."
Of opening training camp soon: "There are no issues with John and I, there are no issues with John and the Wizards."
So, nothing to see here, apparently. That may not quiet down the speculation, but Sheppard is clearly going to try. To his credit, he faced over a half-hour of questions, most of them on Wall, and did so patiently. If this was a bluff, he put on about as good a poker face as one could.
But Sheppard may have been telling the truth from start to finish, it's hard to tell with sports executives who have incentive not to. In this case, he could also be preserving leverage.
So, make of it what you will. Sheppard described his interaction with Wall earlier today as a good one. They talked about the weekend's NFL games and Wall did not reiterate a trade request or express unhappiness with his situation.
Training camp begins in a week and a lot can happen in seven days. But for now, it sounds like Sheppard has things under control, at least internally.