Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard still plans on Beal staying in D.C.


It's been a whirlwind week for the Wizards and for Bradley Beal, but it might end with a more stable future.

Wizards president and general manager Tommy Sheppard addressed the media less than 24 hours after Thursday’s trade deadline, and he once again spoke about Beal and his future with the franchise. 

“This is probably the first time I’ve mentioned this to you guys, but I believe Bradley is going to be here moving forward,” Sheppard -- tongue firmly planted in his cheek -- said of Beal’s intentions. “I know this is news, but he and I have talked about it before and he’s said this is where he wants to be. I’m not going to waver from that, but I don’t know how many more times I can touch base on this subject. We plan on him being here in the future. If he feels otherwise I’m sure he’ll let me know.”

After surgery on Beal’s left wrist early this week, all attention turned to what the future for Beal and the Wizards looked like. And as of now, Sheppard remains confident Beal will remain a Wizard. It is a topic he's addressed repeatedly dating back to last season. 

Beal, of course, can opt out of the final year of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent. In October, the Wizards offered him a max extension worth $181.5 million over four years, but if Beal opts out of his deal this summer he can sign a max contract worth about $241 million over five years.


Should Beal opt out of his current deal and sign with another team, a max deal would go for less -- about $180 million over four years. 

“Players like Bradley don’t come along very often,” Sheppard said. “Ten years in, maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I saw last year an All-NBA player who led the league in scoring for most of the entire season. That was pretty amazing.”

In 40 games this season, Beal averaged 23.2 points and 6.6 assists for a Wizards team that started hot, but faltered in the months since. That slow stretch led to questions about the outlook of the franchise, and specifically what the team would do with Beal.

The deadline was busy for the Wizards, as expected, but it didn’t involve moving Beal. And it doesn’t appear that’s in the cards going forward, either. Not if the GM has anything to say about it. 

“[Beal has] made it clear, to me anyways, that his intentions are what they always were,” Sheppard said. “To help build this franchise up and help lead us to a championship.”