Wizards Draft: Tommy Sheppard Suggests Wizards are High on 15 Prospects

Washington Wizards, NBA Draft Lottery. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards, NBA Draft Lottery. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Wizards didn’t get what they hoped for during the NBA Draft Lottery. Although they did not get the required bounces to move up the draft board, they still walked away with a valuable draft asset by not dropping any positions in the lottery.

The Wizards hold the tenth overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft.  While Bradley Beal will remain the focus of the offseason until he makes a decision on his future, the Wizards know how important hitting on this draft pick is regardless of how things play out with Beal.

If Beal stays, the Wizards need the player they select to develop into a true difference-maker in the coming years or they will continue to have the same ceiling they’ve had in recent years with Beal. If he leaves, more reason for the next franchise player to arrive as soon as possible.

Tommy Sheppard is the man leading the charge, and if his recent comments mean anything, the Wizards are going to have their choice between a number of talented prospects when they are on the clock at tenth overall.

Speaking to Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington, Sheppard shared that he’s excited about as many as 15 prospects in this year’s draft class.

“I know through all the draft preparation we’ve done, we are very excited about 15 kids,” was part of Sheppard’s longer response on the NBA Draft. Fifteen is an awful lot of prospects for the front office to be high on in the early stages of the off-season scouting process.

Knowing they need an impact player with that pick, someone who will be crucial in just how high the team’s ceiling is going to be in the coming seasons, it’s worth asking how many players of that level will be on the board once it’s the Wizards turn to pick. It won’t be 15.

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This could just be GM talk, or it could be more concerning. The Wizards have taken a number of role players in recent drafts in attempts to round out their roster and improve their overall rotation. If they are in the early stages of making that kind of pick again, it’s clear they don’t see how far this group has to go to compete despite being a talented roster overall.

As the draft gets closer and closer, we’ll focus in on specific prospects and rumors regarding the Wizards. For now, we can’t help but wonder what exactly Sheppard meant with those statements following the lottery.

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