After the 24-hour news cycle had taken place, the dust had settled on the Rui Hachimura trade and all the takes on social media cooled to their embers, Wizards president Tommy Sheppard offered his reasoning for why the former ninth overall pick was traded on Monday. In a pair of interviews during Tuesday night's Wizards-Mavs broadcast on NBC Sports Washington, he cited clearing the way for Deni Avdija's development as part of his thinking in making the deal.

Avdija, of course, was the Wizards' first-round pick the following year after Hachimura, in 2020. He was also the ninth overall pick and now with Hachimura gone, his evolution becomes even more important to their future.

Exactly what Sheppard meant may be the subject of an enduring debate. He didn't say the Wizards chose Avdija over Hachimura, but now Avdija's progress will naturally be framed by the new opportunity he now has with Hachimura gone. It is now part of the context of his young career.