Washington Wizards: 6 early replacement ideas for team president Ernie Grunfeld

Ernie Grunfeld (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ernie Grunfeld (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
1 of 4

It’s only been a few days since Ernie Grunfeld was let go as Washington Wizards team president but it’s never too early to start considering his replacement.

For the first time since 2002, the Washington Wizards are looking for a new team president. While Ted Leonsis says there’s currently no list of favorites or front runners, it’s only a matter of time until there’s someone new in Grunfeld’s vacated seat. Even if that someone ends up being interim GM and senior vice president Tommy Sheppard.

While Sheppard himself is an interesting and fully capable candidate, a promotion from within might not be the best move for the Wizards. Many have given Sheppard a vote of confidence in his new role and he’s been considered for GM jobs elsewhere. He’s previously interviewed for the position with the Brooklyn Nets (2016), Atlanta Hawks (2017), and, recently, the New Orleans Pelicans. Plus, keeping Sheppard would mirror what Leonsis did with the Washington Capitals when he replaced George McPhee with Brian MacLellan in 2014.

But the Wizards aren’t the Capitals. They need a complete 180 from the Grunfeld era. Any “new” front office regime with a reminder of the old guard won’t feel so new. Nor will it sit well with the fans.

The Wizards need someone entirely new to lead them into the post-Grunfeld era. They need a fresh face full of hope to help lead this downtrodden fan base back into NBA contention and relevancy. They could certainly do worse than Sheppard. But they could probably do better.

Here are 5 candidates that might find themselves running the show in D.C. next year.