The NBA media has hounded Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard with questions about Bradley Beal’s future for multiple seasons now. Reporters seize any opportunity to grill Sheppard about Beal’s fate in Washington.
Sheppard reaffirmed Wednesday with NBC’s Chase Hughes that the Wizards are unfazed by trade rumors involving the three-time All-Star.
When asked about Bradley Beal rumors, GM Tommy Sheppard says "the outside noise is just noise." Said he was with him in Las Vegas during Team USA's training camp and doesn't expect anything to change.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) July 28, 2021
“The outside noise is just noise,” said Sheppard, who spent time with Beal at Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas.
International basketball is scary for middling teams with disgruntled stars. Before Beal withdrew from Team USA due to injury, he had a rare opportunity to play alongside some of the world’s best. When guys like Beal share the court with other stars from stronger teams, the basketball community’s imagination runs wild. The Portland Trailblazers and Damian Lillard have faced similar trade buzz since Lillard reported to Las Vegas.
Washington’s 2020 season ended in round one of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The 76ers handled Beal’s Wizards in five games. The Wiz haven’t escaped the first round since 2017, when they fell in the Eastern Conference Semifinals (the second round) to the Boston Celtics.
Of course, Sheppard’s job as GM is to maximize Beal’s trade value. Washington will continue to refute trade rumors until they receive an undeniable offer for their best player.