Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard took part in a Q&A on Twitter earlier today, addressing numerous topics, including the free-agent statuses of Davis Bertans and Shabazz Napier. Sheppard said both players have “shown enough” to make the team want to retain them.
“We acquired [both those players] not as rentals. We acquired them to stay here,” Sheppard said.
Bertans came to the Wizards last offseason, as part of a three-way trade that the Spurs made to create a path to sign Marcus Morris (Morris backed out of the verbal agreement with San Antonio and instead inked a deal with the Knicks). Napier joined the franchise during a midseason trade that sent Jordan McRae to Denver.
Here’s more highlights from the session with Sheppard:
- The executive discussed Washington as a free agency destination.“Look at the [free agents] we’ve retained over the years. We’ve retained our biggest free agents. They wanted to stay here and re-sign. We attracted plenty of free agents over time,” Sheppard said, arguing that location and ownership are two of the biggest factors to attracting talent.
- The inability to meet with and evaluate prospects in person in the coming weeks and months isn’t going to impede the Wizards’ ability to scout talent in the draft. “If we were going to decide to take a player off of one workout, we’re in a lot of trouble,” Sheppard said.
- Sheppard added that the league’s hiatus has not been great for John Wall‘s progress. The point guard had been participating in scrimmages as he continued to rehab his Achilles injury. However, without the ability to compete against others, Wall can’t get into game shape. “He’s just not able to get out on the floor and do those things. So, when we do come to play, he will be behind, unfortunately,” Sheppard said.