GM Tommy Sheppard: Wizards Can Make Playoffs

Expectations aren’t real high for the Wizards entering the season. Despite a roster featuring the likes of Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, no one has the Wizards ranked very high.Tommy Sheppard

But GM Tommy Sheppard seems to think they can surprise some people.

In fact, Sheppard went as far as to say the Wizards have the ability to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. But he cautioned the team’s main goal is to “just get better.”

Sheppard was speaking at a press conference ahead of the start of training camp.

Last season, the Wizards finished 35-47 under Wes Unseld Jr., in his first year as a head coach. Injuries to Beal and others kept them from hitting their stride, though Unseld had them competing in spite of circumstances.

During the offseason, they landed Will Barton and Monte Morris by sending Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to the Nuggets, and picked up former Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis in the draft. They also signed veteran forward Taj Gibson.

Hardly splashy moves, but also moves that could enable the Wizards to have some depth and versatility.

Some other notes from the press conference:

  • Unseld indicated the starting small forward spot is “wide open,” via DC-based Wizards reporter Wayne Cole.
  • Everyone on the roster is entering camp healthy, Sheppard said, via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. But Deni Avdija and Porzingis will be brought along slowly following their run in the FIBA EuroBasket.
  • The Wizards actually open the preseason Sept. 30 in Japan with a pair of games against the defending champion Warriors. The second is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2. Both games will take place at Saitama Super Arena.


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