Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards’ Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and interim President has conducted his own draft on June 20. He drafted players that would fit a culture of mature, up-and-coming skilled players who fit a system as opposed to athletes who often didn’t reach their potential.
It remains to be seen how well Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield fit into the Wizards’ future plans. But Sheppard may still see that someone else can override his decisions. Or perhaps, Sheppard may not have a job in a few days or weeks.
According to Adam Zielonka of The Washington Times, Ted Leonsis confirmed that Danny Ferry, the former Cavaliers and Hawks General Manager, is still a candidate for the job. Leonsis was at Nationals Park on Saturday, June 22 to represent the Washington Capitals’ 2017-18 Stanley Cup winning team which was inducted to the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
Ferry was inducted to the Hall of Fame because he is a D.C. area native himself. He was a high school basketball star at DeMatha and played college basketball at Duke before a long NBA playing career of his own from 1990-2003.
Ferry also interviewed on the “Grant & Danny” show on WJFK-FM on Monday where he spoke about meeting Leonsis about the Wizards’ front office job. In it, Ferry mentioned that “They’re focused on [free agency], and right now I’m focused on just staying engaged in basketball.”
Based on the movement with Ferry in the last few days, this seems to indicate that Leonsis may be ready to conclude the search in mid-July or so where he would decide whether Ferry, Sheppard or Oklahoma City Thunder Vice President Troy Weaver get the job.
If Sheppard becomes the next President, he can finally start to execute whatever vision he had for the Wizards. And at first glance, he appears willing to do things that Ernie Grunfeld wasn’t.
But if Ferry or Weaver took the job, it is unclear what happens to Sheppard. A new President of Basketball Operations could take things in a new direction which means Sheppard may be fired. Unless Sheppard is guaranteed to still have a job even if he is not the next President of Basketball Operations, keeping this search lingering on into July isn’t a vote of confidence from Leonsis that he is capable of leading the Wizards.