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Tommy Sheppard emphasizes development, won’t push Bradley Beal too hard on contract extension

The Washington Wizards general manager is ready to get the ball rolling this season.

Monumental Basketball Portraits
Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard spoke to the media on Thursday, Sept. 30.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

On Thursday, Washington Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard spoke to reporters at the MedStar Wizards Performance Center in Congress Heights, D.C. You can watch the entire conference below from the NBA.

There are a couple main points that Sheppard talked about, both of which I feel confirm what I think needs to happen anyway.

Sheppard is more focused on player development, not wins

Most of Washington’s training camp roster is new to the team. Most of the predictions you’ve read believe the Wizards will be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. And several players, like rookie forwards Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, are going to play more minutes than they otherwise would in past seasons when the Wizards were contending for the Southeast Division title.

With John Wall effectively out for the season and the Wizards coming off a 32-50 campaign last year, this season is about building up the next core group of players who can be part of a future contending Washington team.

Don’t expect to hear more about Bradley Beal and his contract extension

The Wizards offered Bradley Beal a three-year, $111 million extension last summer. But Beal hasn’t given much thought to it. Of course, this will make some fans feel nervous that he will request a trade.

In Thursday’s press conference, Sheppard stressed that he wouldn’t press Beal too much on whether he would sign the extension.

My feeling is that Beal won’t sign the extension and I think he should be available in a trade, even though Beal loves being in Washington. But until then, I still look forward to enjoying Beal’s performances here while he’s still around.