By Shams Charania, David Aldridge, Josh Robbins and Legislation Murray
LA Clippers common supervisor Michael Winger has agreed to turn out to be the president of Monumental Basketball, father or mother firm of the Washington Wizards, Mystics and the G League Go-Go, league sources confirmed to The Athletic on Wednesday. The information was first reported by ESPN. Right here’s what you should know:
- Winger will exchange Tommy Sheppard, who was fired as president and common supervisor of the Wizards in April, because the staff’s high personnel govt. He’ll additionally oversee the Mystics and Go-Go.
- Winger was the second known candidate to formally interview for the place, along with New Orleans Pelicans common supervisor Trajan Langdon, as first reported by The Athletic.
- Winger had served within the Clippers GM position since 2017. Previous to working with the post-Lob Metropolis Clippers, he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder underneath Sam Presti and the Cleveland Cavaliers underneath Danny Ferry.
- The Clippers have had a successful report each season with Winger within the entrance workplace.
The Washington Wizards will rent LA Clippers GM Michael Winger as president of Monumental Basketball, a league supply confirmed. (@wojespn first)
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) May 24, 2023
The Athletic’s instantaneous evaluation:
Why Washington went this route
Monumental Sports activities & Leisure CEO Ted Leonsis has lengthy considered the Clippers as a company to emulate, and he’s confirmed it by hiring away Steve Ballmer’s GM, who was reportedly making vital coin, as his new basketball boss. Winger has an analytical bent, having labored with Sam Presti in Oklahoma Metropolis earlier than going to Los Angeles in 2017 to switch Doc Rivers because the Clippers’ GM. He may have a well-recognized face on board with the Wizards, as he and Washington’s assistant GM Frank Ross labored collectively in OKC.
Winger prefers the background quite than being out entrance, individuals who’ve labored with him say. However he could possibly be an excellent match with Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr., who additionally leans into superior stats as a part of his nightly recreation planning. — Aldridge
GO DEEPER Aldridge: With Michael Winger, Ted Leonsis finally says the status quo is no longer good enough
Aldridge: With Michael Winger, Ted Leonsis finally says the status quo is no longer good enough
How Winger fared in Los Angeles
When the LA Clippers stripped Rivers of the lead personnel job within the entrance workplace and promoted Lawrence Frank to president of basketball operations within the 2017 offseason, Frank wanted to backfill a place. He did that by tapping Winger from the Oklahoma City Thunder entrance workplace. Frank has a training background, main the Nets and Pistons as a head coach in addition to groups corresponding to Rivers’ Celtics and Clippers as an assistant. Winger complemented Frank as somebody with years of front-office expertise going again to Oklahoma Metropolis and Cleveland.
The partnership of Frank and Winger allowed the Clippers to seamlessly transfer on from the Lob Metropolis period with out a shedding season and into the present period with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Whereas the Clippers have solely received three playoff sequence since hiring Winger, they did efficiently reload to offer themselves a title window that’s unfulfilled as of now.
The Clippers will transfer ahead in Winger’s stead with what the staff believes is a deep entrance workplace. It is a vital offseason. Groups proceed to watch coach Tyronn Lue’s standing regardless of being underneath contract, Leonard has a torn meniscus, each Leonard and George are extension eligible, and the staff has a fast-closing title window earlier than shifting into Intuit Dome in 2024. Now, they must determine all of it out with out Winger. — Murray
After firing Sheppard, Leonsis mentioned he meant to fill the position with somebody from outdoors the group. The Wizards’ seek for Sheppard’s substitute was ownership-led, with contributions from key advisors, together with John Thompson III, the staff’s vice chairman of participant growth and engagement.
Washington went 35-47 in every of the final two seasons with Unseld as coach. The Wizards have made the playoffs 5 instances for the reason that 2013-14 season, however haven’t superior previous the primary spherical since 2016-17.
- Michael Winger will have the authority to shape the Wizards, sources say
- What questions should Wizards GM candidates ask owner Ted Leonsis?
- With Tommy Sheppard fired, what’s next for the Washington Wizards?
- Aldridge: The Wizards’ road to relevancy begins by acknowledging it’s time to blow it up
(Photograph: Scott Taetsch / Getty Photographs)
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