The Washington Wizards are clearly looking for a new General Manager/President of Basketball Operations … clearly someone who can take the front office and make the right roster decisions for the future. They are the only NBA team with a vacancy, offering the right person a chance to run operations from the nation’s capital and a team owner who is generally willing to give a long leash.
Well, since Tommy Sheppard was fired a few weeks ago, there simply hasn’t been much noise around the hire. Carita Parks of Sports Illustrated also noted that recently. Why could it be, especially when Washington is the only team with a GM vacancy?
To me, I think one of the main reasons why is because the Wizards aren’t exactly known for being at the top of Adrian Wojnarowski’s or Shams Charania’s list of teams that get tweeted about. Without one of these two mentioning something every other day, it’s hard to see the Wizards get on the front page of the NBA section of any national media outlet.
Second, there aren’t many candidates who are interviewing for the job. Trajan Langdon and Michael Winger may be great basketball executives for the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively, in their own right. However, they aren’t “dream hires” like Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors or Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors.
Ujiri or Myers hypothetically dining out at Zaytinya with Ted Leonsis near Chinatown would get Wizards fans talking incessantly about whether an offer is imminent. But there is no indication that Ujiri or Myers would be interested in coming to Washington. Myers may very well be taking a break from the NBA next season.
And finally, perhaps GM candidates are wary of taking the Wizards job with two likely pre-conditions. First, the GM will likely have to Wes Unseld, Jr. as the head coach. And second, the Wizards will likely tell the GM that a full roster rebuild involving a trade of Bradley Beal is not an option. While I think that Unseld should be let go when a new GM is hired, it isn’t uncommon to see new GMs supervise a head coach from the previous era. What would be damning is that the new GM may very well want to rebuild the Wizards, something that many fans want.
I don’t want to say that Monumental Sports & Entertainment WON’T let the new GM start a rebuild. But given how stubborn the Wizards have been in trying to avoid this situation, that certainly could give a good GM candidate reservations about coming to Washington.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.