The Washington Wizards finally have their next general manager.
The Wizards promoted Tommy Sheppard, who had served in the interim role since April, on Friday to the full-time job, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards are expected to announce the deal in the coming days, and are working to finalize the deal to make him the 12th general manager in the franchise’s history.
Sheppard will replace Ernie Grunfeld, who was fired in April after 16 seasons. He will lead day-to-day operations, and is expected to make several additions within the operations department in the coming months, per the report. He is entering his 17th season with the organization, and served as Grunfeld’s lieutenant for several years. He was also credited for landing center Thomas Bryant last summer after he was waived by the Los Angeles lakers.
The 50-year-old has led the Wizards this offseason, where they have acquired numerous young talent from across the league. Washington drafted Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 overall pick, despite not having met with him before hand.
They also agreed to deals with Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith, re-signed Bryant and acquired Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones. In total, the Wizards have added seven players with just one year or fewer experience in the league.
Washington will likely now turn its attention to Bradley Beal. Beal, who is entering the fourth year of his five-year deal with the Wizards, has been the subject of trade rumors this summer — though Washington has reportedly rejected all “trade overtures.”
The 26-year-old could be a valuable asset for the Wizards to trade away, if they want to fully commit to a rebuild. Otherwise, they’ll likely focus on keeping Beal and building on what they have in place — which will center around Beal and John Wall, who is still recovering from his Achilles injury.
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