Wizards announce major shake-up of front office structure

Josh Luckenbaugh
July 22, 2019 - 10:59 am
Ted Leonsis sits courtside at a Wizards game.

Rob Carr - Getty Images

It's officially official: Tommy Sheppard is the Wizards' new GM. And that's just one of many changes coming to Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE).

MSE's chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis announced the creation of Monumental Basketball on Monday, a collective which will include the Wizards, Mystics, Capital City Go-Go, and Wizards District Gaming, MSE's NBA2K team. Sheppard will serve as the GM of the Wizards as well as lead strategy, analytics, player personnel, scouting and coaching for the Wizards, Go-Go and District Gaming.

Sashi Brown, a former NFL executive, will serve as chief planning and operations officer for Monumental Basketball and Daniel Medina, a medical professional who has worked for the Philadelphia 76ers and European soccer club FC Barcelona, will serve as the chief of athlete care and performance.

Additionally, Leonsis announced a new athlete development and engagement department led by former Georgetown coach John Thompson III. Sashia Jones, formerly the vice president of community relations, will work closely with Thompson as vice president of player engagement. 

Finally, Brett Greenberg has been promoted from VP of basketball analytics/salary cap management to assistant general manager for strategy and analytics.

“We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the ‘new NBA’ that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win,” Leonsis said in a statement. “We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment.”

Sheppard served as the Wizards' interim GM after the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2 and oversaw their moves during the 2019 NBA Draft and the free agency period. 

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"I didn't spend a lot of time with Tommy because of the hierarchy, but I told him: Let me see how you work," Leonsis told ESPN. "Let me see how you handle the draft. Let me see a strategy document and a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C."

"He came back and said he needed assets and young players, and that we needed to connect the draft to free agency. Our big goal was to get more coachable players that fit a system that the coaches wanted to play, that would get us younger, hungrier players that would be helped by our development coaches."

Leonsis added that he believes Sheppard can lead the Wizards through a "quick" rebuild and that he hopes to keep both John Wall and Bradley Beal

"I like (Sheppard's) dexterity to be able to deal with the existing NBA, but to also really look at it as a global enterprise," Leonsis told ESPN. "My belief is that you can do things fast. We have the wherewithal and resources and facilities and technology.

"If we can bring John (Wall) back and, with Brad, develop our draft picks and assets, start to manage the (salary) cap, why can't this be quick? It doesn't need to be a five-years it took when we drafted John and Brad. We can turn this one faster."

The Wizards will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Monday to unveil Sheppard as the permanent GM and introduce the front office additions of Brown, Medina, and Thompson.

Follow @1067TheFan on Twitter and Instagram for more updates. 

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