New Wizards’ GM: Drafting Admiral Schofield Was “No-Brainer”

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    (Photo via John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

    When the Washington Wizards were going through the draft process back in June, they didn’t technically have a GM. Tommy Sheppard was acting as interim GM when the Wizards went through draft night back on June 20th because they fired former Vol Ernie Grunfeld from that position back in April, and Sheppard was responsible for Washington drafting Tennessee wing Admiral Schofield.

    Now, Sheppard has been promoted to full-time GM after a three-month search, and he said drafting Schofield was a very easy decision.

    In an interview on Chad Dukes vs. The World on 106.7 The Fan, Sheppard raved about Schofield, calling his decision to draft the former Vol standout a “no-brainer.”

    “Making the commitment we did to get Admiral Schofield in the second round, that’s another guy who is all about winning,” Sheppard told Dukes. “His resume speaks for itself. The opportunity to get him adds value to our roster because of the person that he is and the player that he is. That was a no-brainer. One phone call to (owner) Ted (Leonsis), and he said ‘do it.’ There was no ‘explain this.’ I think he trusted my judgement because he knew how many players we valued and where we thought the draft cut off. Admiral was right in that area.

    “When we were able to acquire him, that was a perfect situation for us.”

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    Sheppard and the Wizards acquired Schofield with the No. 42 overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft. On July 12th, the Wizards inked Schofield to a three-year deal worth an estimated $4.2 million in total.

    In five games with the Wizards during the NBA Summer League, Schofield averaged 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 18.0 minutes per game. He shot 38.5 percent overall and made all 12 of his free throw attempts.

    As a senior for the Vols last season, the 6-foot-5, 241-pound Schofield averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists a game while leading the team in three-point shooting with a 41.8 percent shooting clip. Schofield was named a First-Team All-SEC performer after his stellar final season with Tennessee, and he earned an AP All-American honorable mention.

    In his career, Schofield appeared in 132 games as a Vol and started 92 contests. He finished his Tennessee career as one of only a handful of Vol players ever to amass 1,500 points and 700 rebounds in a career.

    Schofield was one of three Vols selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, and he was one of four Vols to sign rookie contracts in the NBA this summer. All-American forward Grant Williams was taken No. 22 overall in the first round by the Boston Celtics, and All-SEC point guard Jordan Bone was selected No. 57 overall in the second round by the Detroit Pistons. Starting center Kyle Alexander played with the Miami Heat during the NBA Summer League and signed an Exhibit 10 contract with them on July 15th.

    As of right now, seven former Vols are under contract in the NBA. The four rookies join veterans Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers), Josh Richardson (Philadelphia 76ers), and Jordan McRae (Washington Wizards) as former Tennessee players in the NBA.