What Sheppard did in the past two offseason certainly deserves credit. He turned an incredibly messy roster structure into one that is flexible, young, and talented. Yet we need to be careful giving too much praise to Sheppard. This is mainly because the Wizards are still at a crossroad without a true direction.
Are the Wizards trying to contend for a title with a roster structured around Beal or are the Wizards heading towards a rebuild?
Despite some savvy moves this offseason, the team isn't necessarily any more of a threat in the playoffs than they were before. Even if you think that the roster, as a result of its depth, will do better in the playoffs than last season, no one would say that these offseason transactions move the needle for the Wizards. We are still a fringe playoff team that's probably at best a 2nd round playoff team. I don't even want to talk about what the floor can be for this team.
If Sheppard is serious about building a contender around Beal, he NEEDS to acquire a second star this season, BEFORE handing out Beal that humongous contract. He needs to have the balls to go all in for someone like Lillard. Maybe we don't have enough assets, but if we're serious about building around Beal you need to be willing to gamble the future away. You must be willing to part ways with Rui/Deni/Gafford + multiple future first round picks, and probably more.
If you are not serious or confident in building a contender around Beal, you must trade him away and start a rebuild. It's that simple.
What Sheppard did so far is amazing, but at the end of the day, it only put us in a better situation to make the most important decision. He did not make that decision yet, and until he makes the big decision, it's hard for me to praise him too much. I can only hope he makes the right decision, and while I have no idea which direction is better for the Wizards, I know I'd rather root for a team with a true direction rather than one that's just staying afloat.
What do you guys think the Wizards should do?