WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Washington Wizards governor Ted Leonsis this week hired Michael Winger to oversee the entire basketball group, which includes the G League’s Capital City Go-Go and the Washington Mystic, serving as president of Monumental Basketball.
Winger’s hire makes him the first external executive the Wizards have hired in basketball operations since Leonsis purchased the team in 2010. Winger will be just the third lead decision-maker for the franchise since Michael Jordan took over in 2000 as a player-executive.
With an expensive long-term contract in place for star guard Bradley Beal and free agency decisions looming on big man Kristaps Porzingis and forward Kyle Kuzma, Winger will be faced with significant decisions right away.
Locked On Wizards hosts Brandon Scott and Ed Oliver discussed Winger’s arrival in Washington and why it sets the Wizards on a better course in a Thursday edition of the podcast.
“If you look at the fact he gave him that much control, (they) can still go out and get a good-quality GM,” Scott said. “ That is an overhaul of the front office that (they) need. That’s bringing in competent leadership to the front office, guys that know how to draft, know how to trade, know how to evaluate players.”
With reports already circulating that Winger will have autonomy to tear down the team and rebuild it if he chooses to, the move represents a true reset for the Wizards.
“I think it’s a heck of a hire. They got a guy with a good track record … and they’re really giving him full autonomy,” Oliver said.