John Wall has not asked for a trade, according to Washington Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. Christian Smith/Associated Press

Washington Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard dropped by point guard John Wall’s workout Monday and they chatted. About their kids. About Thanksgiving Day plans. About their favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys.

What they didn’t discuss, according to Sheppard, was the possibility of Washington dealing Wall elsewhere.

“There’s no plans to trade John,” were the first words spoken by Sheppard during a video conference Monday, when most questions from reporters were about the five-time All-Star who was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.

Wall missed all of last season, and most of 2018-19, too, with injuries to his left heel, then Achilles tendon, and reports surfaced in recent days that he requested a trade.

Sheppard downplayed that with training camp set to begin next week, saying Wall “didn’t request” to be moved when they spoke Monday.

He said he and Wall speak “pretty much every other day” and characterized their relationship as “very, very close.”

“There’s no issues with John and I,” Sheppard said. “There’s no issues with John and the Wizards.”

And while Sheppard reaffirmed that his plan is to build around shooting guard Bradley Beal – whose scoring average of 30.5 points last season was second in the league behind James Harden – the GM repeatedly emphasized that he is eager to see his team’s backcourt combo reunited.

“We’ve been pointing to this time for a long time, to try to see how we get those guys back on the floor together, because when we were together last, they were pretty darn good,” Sheppard said. “One of the best backcourts out there.”

The Wizards went to the postseason four times in five years during one stretch. But over the past two seasons, Washington lost 50 games, then 47, and missed the playoffs.

“It’s a new story now with John and Bradley. … It’s not a sequel. They haven’t played together in two years, but they both look forward to playing with each other,” Sheppard said. “That’s where we’re at and that’s where we move onto.”

SOCIAL JUSTICE: Pope Francis met with NBA players at the Vatican, lauding them as “champions” and saying he supported their work on social justice.

The five players – Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver – were joined in the delegation by NBA players’ union executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.

“We’re here because, frankly, we’re inspired by the work that you do globally,” Roberts told the pope during the meeting in the papal library.

The union said the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.” Belinelli addressed the pope in Italian, and the group presented the pope with a commemorative basketball, a union-produced book highlighting efforts players have taken and an Orlando Magic jersey.

“You’re champions,” the pope said. “But also giving the example of teammork, you’ve become a model, giving that good example of teamwork but always remaining humble … and preserving your own humanity.”

The audience was held days before a book comes out in which Francis supports demands for racial justice, specifically the actions taken following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May. A police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee against his neck for minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

PISTONS-76ERS TRADE: The Detroit Pistons have traded center Tony Bradley to Philadelphia for guard Zhaire Smith. The Pistons announced the deal with the 76ers on Monday. Detroit acquired Bradley in a recent trade with Utah.

Bradley appeared in a career-high 58 games last season, averaging 4.9 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Smith was a first-round draft pick in 2018 by Phoenix and was dealt to Philadelphia. He played in 13 games over the past two seasons for the 76ers, averaging 3.7 points.

CAVALIERS: Cleveland found either a temporary replacement for Tristan Thompson or an asset to bring in other talent when it acquired center JaVale McGee and a 2026 second-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers for forwards Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell. The teams agreed to the deal on Sunday but needed league approval before finalizing it.

Also, the team has a worked out an agreement with free agent guard Matthew Dellavedova, one of the Cavs’ most popular players.

McGee, who won NBA titles during two seasons with Golden State before two in Los Angeles, gives the Cavaliers a proven front-line player who can protect the rim and give starting center Andre Drummond a break. The 30-year-old McGee also has an expiring contract, which makes him appealing to teams looking to create salary-cap space.


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