- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Minutes before Admiral Schofield was drafted, his agent told his 22-year-old client he might want to get to a TV, if he wasn’t watching. Schofield soon received another text message — this time from a friend containing a tweet from ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Looking at it, Schofield found out he was selected 42nd overall.

“(My agent) told me I was going to get picked, but I saw the tweet before my agent called,” Schofield said. “Woj is like elite.”

At first, a thrilled Schofield thought he was headed to the Philadelphia 76ers. He watched on television as deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announce the 76ers had drafted him. But soon after, the 6-foot-5 forward discovered the Wizards had traded for him — only exciting him further. Schofield gets a chance to reunite with Dickey Simpkins, his former AAU coach who is now a scout for the organization.

Following four years at the University of Tennessee, Schofield said he’s eager for an opportunity to prove himself in the NBA. Known for his thick 241-pound frame, Schofield is a physical player who also has the ability to shoot. Last year, Schofield shot nearly 40% from deep and averaged 16.5 points per game.

The Wizards have already witnessed Schofield’s toughness at their three-day rookie development camp, which started Tuesday.

He didn’t back down from guarding Rui Hachimura, Washington’s first-round pick.

“He asking a lot of questions, as well,” said Robert Pack, a Wizards assistant who will coach Washington’s Summer League team next week. “He wants to know. When guys early ask a lot of questions … that helps them get into Summer League and play with confidence if they know as much as possible.”

Schofield represents a bit of an organizational shift for the Wizards. Under former general manager Ernie Grunfeld, Washington often would trade its second-round pick as a way to cut costs. In fact, the Wizards don’t own their own second-round pick until 2023 due to various deals.

But to acquire Schofield, the Wizards paid the 76ers a reported $2 million and received veteran Jonathon Simmons. Simmons is set to make $5.7 million next season, but only $1 million of that is guaranteed if waived before July 1. Essentially, the Wizards paid $3 million to get Schofield.

Schofield said the gesture meant a lot.

“It means they have a plan for me,” Schofield said. “I know they’re really big on development and want me to develop this summer, so I’m going to work really hard. It feels good to be wanted.

“For me, it’s just coming in and returning the favor. Them giving me an opportunity, that’s all I asked for.”

Schofield knows he needs to develop, identifying three areas specifically. First, Schofield wants to work on his ball-handling. Then, he wants to get into “elite shape” — a curious statement considering sports website The Ringer described him as having a “physique that’d make bodybuilders blush.”

Last, Schofield wants to play with discipline. He described the way NBA athletes are able to see the game despite the league’s hectic pace. He needs to adjust, so the game becomes “slow.”

Schofield, though, is far from intimidated. After practice, Schofield spent an extra 15 minutes with coaches, asking questions and working on his defense.

“My level of play will rise,” Schofield said. “I’ve just got to get my feet wet.”

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