On Friday afternoon, Washington Wizards President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard gave a press conference to the media regarding their trades yesterday, most notably the Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans for Kristaps Porzingis trade. In addition, Ish Smith is coming back to D.C. from the Charlotte Hornets in a separate deal that involved Montrezl Harrell.
Before he began the presser, Sheppard acknowledged the players who left, including Dinwddie, Bertans and Aaron Holiday, thanking them for their service.
Of all the moves Washington made at the deadline, it was clear that their goal was to upgrade their roster with an All-Star player like Porzingis who could play alongside Bradley Beal, hopefully, next year. But also, to Sheppard’s credit, the Wizards were able to get Porzingis without trading away any future draft picks. In fact, they are getting a future second round pick in the Porzingis deal!
"We went out and acquired more talent without giving up any draft capital" - Sheppard— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) February 11, 2022
Like many players the Wizards have brought in over the years, Porzingis was on the Wizards’ radar, dating back to his time when he was playing in Spain before he came to the NBA.
Tommy Sheppard says he's known Porzingis since he was a teen playing in Spain so they were very familiar with him and his game. Likes the fit in Wes' system as a floor spacer and rim protector. The deal came together very quickly after several days of work on something else— Matt Modderno (@MattModderno) February 11, 2022
The Wizards were also involved with the Mavericks in trade negotiations, perhaps for other players. But the Porzingis deal specifically came late in the process.
"The Porzingis thing cracked late" - Sheppard— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) February 11, 2022
He did go on to say they had been talking to Dallas about different iterations for some time.
Sheppard hopes Washington’s moves shake up the roster for the better. And he stated clearly that he is not afraid to make significant changes when things are working. He noted that the Wizards’ morale was noticeably off for some time after their squandering of a 35-point loss to the Clippers lingered last week as a significant time.
"I think I saw a lot of frustration when you lose a few games you think you should have won" - Sheppard on the chemistry— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) February 11, 2022
He continued to say that he thought there was carryover from the collapse versus the Clippers.
With Dinwddie now in Dallas, the Wizards brought back Ish Smith. Sheppard pointed out the positive mentality he would bring to the locker room, noting his impact last season.
Tommy Sheppard on Ish Smith pic.twitter.com/wXXaWP1FyN— Matt Modderno (@MattModderno) February 11, 2022
What are your reactions to the front office’s statements on their trade deadline moves? Let us know in the comments.