Wizards don't plan to 'skip steps,' mortgage future in a win-now trade

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  • Washington Wizards
    Washington Wizards
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  • Bradley Beal
    Bradley Beal
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Wizards don't plan to mortgage future in win-now trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Wizards are trying to build a contender around Bradley Beal and even though they've improved significantly this season compared to last, there's still work to do to get Washington at the level that competes with the top of the Eastern Conference.

At a 22-20 record and roughly a month before the trade deadline, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard has a few decisions to make regarding his roster. He can make a small move or two to maximize his current core or consolidate his team's depth and draft assets into a player closer to Beal's caliber. 

As Sheppard explained to the Team 980's Kevin Sheehan, the Wizards likely won't take the latter path. 

"We're not going to skip steps. I'm not going to tell [Beal] we're going to go out, try to infuse this team and try to win today so we can have a great season and wreck the next four years. We can give up three first-round picks and go get somebody right now to change our roster for this season. That'd be great for a little while, but the sugar rush isn't worth it."

There are a few big-name trade targets on the market this year, including Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant and Domantas Sabonis. If the Wizards were to acquire any of those three players, sure it would instantly make them a better team, but would that move be enough to win it all?

When you look at recent trades involving star players and a multitude of draft picks, the teams giving up those large packages for a star were usually one move away from title contention.

The Bucks gave up three future firsts and two future pick swaps for Jrue Holiday, then they won the championship the ensuing season. When the Nets traded Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert and four first-round pick swaps for James Harden, they did so with the idea that Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would win a championship within a few years. 

The organization could also look at Beal's expiring contract and take it as a deadline to make a splashy move in an attempt to get him to stay, but that isn't the case for Sheppard and his staff.

"It's actions over words," Sheppard said. "Somebody could come in and tell you, 'I want to be here the rest of my career,' it all sounds good and then something changes. I don't need that assurance, he doesn't need that assurance, we've been very transparent with each other. We want the same things, we both want this franchise to elevate and be a perennial contender."

There likely isn't a trade out there that will turn the Wizards into title favorites overnight, so for now, Sheppard can continue to focus on building something sustainable in Washington around Beal.

"You want to be able to build something stable and [Beal] is a cornerstone of that. If something changes that'll be up to him, but for us, we've been brutally transparent this entire time of what our goals are and where we're headed."