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“That’s really the thing that sold me at the end — not only can he play, but he’s a good, quality person, character-wise,” Wittman said.

Beal’s presence does create a logjam of sorts at the shooting guard position, where Jordan Crawford started and averaged 14.7 points in 64 games. But Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld said the team isn’t holding Beal to any sort of expectation given his lofty draft status.

“He’s 19. He can come in, work hard and learn,” Grunfeld said. “We have a player who started for us last year and played hard in Jordan. There’s no pressure for any rookie to come in and have to contribute immediately, to play 35-40 minutes. That’s up to him … how quickly he learns the NBA game and how quickly he develops.”

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said before the draft began that it would be “unacceptable” for the team to be in the lottery next season. The hope is that Beal can be an important piece in turning the rebuilding project into a winning tradition, a challenge the birthday boy is ready to accept.

“This is by far the best birthday I’ve ever had,” he said. “This really beats all the presents my mom and dad got me when I was a little kid. I’m really grateful for this opportunity I have.”