Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard spoke to the media via Zoom and confirmed that Beal will not require surgery on the injured shoulder, which he sustained months ago in a game against the Phoenix Suns.
“It’s not something that will be a long term problem,” Sheppard said. “Wisdom would tell you let’s not do anything to hinder his future. Our future is contingent on him being healthy.”
Sheppard believes that Beal might have injured his shoulder while coming off a screen.
“I’m not an anatomy major, but it’s a general pain you’ll go through,” Sheppard said. “Think about all the screens he goes through.”
Currently, the Wizards’ other all-star guard, John Wall, is in the process of rehabbing after tearing his achilles. While Beal’s injury isn’t nearly as serious, the Wizards are approaching it with the same mentality — meaning, the team is prioritizing their health for next season.
“If it’s the wrong decision [to sit Beal,] it’s on me — but when you talk about the future of the Wizards, Bradley is a huge, huge part of this,” Sheppard said.
Prior to the announcement, Beal was working out in Washington, preparing as if he would join the team in Orlando. But as time went on, it became apparent to Sheppard that it would not be “wise” to play Beal, noting that the Wizards don’t have much time before they begin “ramping up” workouts.
Sheppard said players were limited to 45 minutes of individual workouts at the team’s practice facility, and the trip to Orlando will free up more time for Beal to work out with trainers in Washington, D.C.
Averaging 30.5 points, Beal was second in the NBA in scoring and played through the shoulder injury during the season, which could lead one to conclude that the injury isn’t serious — and Sheppard’s comments should provide relief in that sense, too.
“The best way to look at it, there’s just a lot of rust,” Sheppard said. “The injury didn’t hinder him performing at a high level. What was troublesome for us is that ramp up time.”
Sheppard noted that Beal would likely be OK to play with more time to prepare.
Now, with Beal, Wall and Davis Bertans out, the Wizards will shift their entire focus on developing the younger players in Orlando. At the very least, the Wizards will play 11 more games in the season, including three exhibition games against the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and Denver Nuggets.