Washington Wizards’ general manager Tommy Sheppard joined Doc Walker and Scott Jackson to break down the NBA trade deadline deals the Wizards made, provide an update on John Wall’s rehab and more.

On John Wall’s injury rehabilitation:

“He is in that place where his body feels some days like you can go out and do exactly what you used to do every day, and the next day probably regret doing it. He’s knocking the rust off, he’s come a long long way…but the reality is he’s down the road, but he’s not at the destination yet. And we have to save him from himself. He’s one of the hardest working players we’ve ever had. Unfortunately his pain tolerance is extremely high, so he’ll come and say ‘I feel great’ and you have to measure it and say that’s probably 65% of who he is.”

“Now he’s just trying to get back into shape and keep increasing the flexibility in both his knees and hands and down in his feet. Those are the places where we have to make sure he’s 100%, and he’s not there yet, so why risk a setback… I think the wisest thing is to keep the big picture in place.”

On if there’s any chance John Wall will play this season:

“We are going to absolutely guard John’s future for us and for him at all costs, so I would probably say squash [the chance that Wall will play this season] completely,  Anytime you say never, something comes back up, so I don’t want to revive any hope. I think he’s going to be out the rest of the year and that’s how we’ll proceed.”

On preparing for trade deadline deals:

“The first thing you try to do to get ready for the trade deadline is how can we improve our team without harming our future. I think we were able to help our team today and in the future.”

On trading away Isaiah Thomas and Jordan McRae:

“Losing Jordan McRae and Isaiah Thomas, those are big hits for us because those guys love to play basketball and they were demonstrating every single day their work ethic and that’s a great to have in our environment. But when you have an opportunity to improve, [you have to do it]. When we moved Isaiah out it was only to get Jerome Robinson who we had pretty high on our board in 2018. He was available because the Clippers were trying to do another deal and so somebody had to be sacrificed in that deal, so we kind of scooped him up. But when you move Isaiah out, he was our starting point guard, so then we needed another point guard. Jordan with Denver, they needed a scorer off the bench and didn’t need another point guard. So it was an easy seamless integration for us to absorb both those players. It didn’t hurt our cap, it didn’t hurt our future.”

On Jerome Robinson and Shabazz Napier:

“Jerome is a player we can develop, and I know Shabazz can be somebody that we’ll have around here as an extra playmaker… I’m really encouraged by what we’ve seen…we are excited for the future.”

On Davis Bertans:

“From [Owner] Ted Leonsis on down, we all believe that Davis is a perfect fit for our organization moving forward and we’re committed to him. He gave us that same commitment, he loves it here, and he wants to be here… from day one he’s been fantastic, on point, the kind of guy we want to have here.”

“There were no [trade offers] that would remotely move the needle for us versus keeping Bertans.”

On what he wants from the Wizards this season:

“The most important thing to get out of this season for us is let’s develop a bunch of players and see what we can do.”

“You just have to look at the big picture and know if we do the right thing, success usually shows up. If you’re in that routine every day and you’re disciplined and you stay at it, it’s amazing how success just shows up.”

“I know this, that when you have a cornerstone like Bradley Beal, you’re in great shape.”

“Let’s stay on point,lets continue to develop big picture. I told Bradley, hey, win as many games as you possibly can win. Let’s go, there’s nothing like playoff experience. If we can get there, we’re not going to limit this roster, we’re not trying to hamstring this roster. But, we’re always going to try and be about the big picture.”

On the Wizards’ defense this season:

“We had 10 new players this year, now 12. As you go through preseason and through the season, you have to work to your strengths, and we can score. We know that we can shoot the ball, we know that. We must defend better, we know that.”

“We’ve got to get better defensively, and that’s just repetition and having a continuous opportunity to have groups together and we really haven’t had that this year. I know that sounds like an excuse, but it’s also a fact.”

“We’re 3rd worst in the NBA at giving up and-ones. How can we eliminate and-ones, how can we get that number down and you’ll see a marked improvement. Like that’s such a small little thing but it’s a big thing… we have to stop fouling, we have to defend without fouling.”

Tommy Sheppard on John Wall: “I Think He’s Going To Be Out The Rest Of The Year”  was originally published on theteam980.com

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