We’re up with a new episode of #SoWizards, a BulletsForever podcast. In this episode, Ben Becker joins me to analyze, speculate and complain about the Wizards’ nutty 2020 trip through NBA free agency.
In this wide-ranging conversation, we dive into major Wizards topics, including:
- Using the midlevel exception on Robin Lopez
- John Wall’s reported trade request, and
- the team’s apparent lack of a cohesive team-building strategy.
In a surprising development if you’ve listened to Ben and me podcast, we end on a somewhat optimistic note.
We recorded before Tommy Sheppard’s press conference in which he denied Wall requested a trade. As you’ll hear in this episode, I talk about Sheppard’s reputation for honesty and my experience interacting with him through the years. If he says Wall didn’t request a trade, then Wall didn’t request a trade and there’s been a whole lot of angst about nothing.
Team executives will lie at times, but my experience interacting with Sheppard makes this implausible to me. If Wall had requested a trade, Sheppard would have acknowledged that fact and then said they’d met and cleared the air, or he’d say they were working on clearing the air or that they would accommodate his request. It’s highly unlikely to me that he’d simply deny the story if it was true.
There’s a practical reason to believe Sheppard’s denial as well — Wall and his representatives know whether or not he requested a trade. If Sheppard lies about it, then Wall and his representatives know Sheppard can’t be trusted. Sheppard knows this. And, he values his reputation for honesty.
None of this gets Sheppard off the hook for what looks like a suboptimal swim in the free agent pool, but for me at least, it closes the book on The Saga of Wall’s (rumored) Trade Request.
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