Washington Wizards: Has Tommy Sheppard Earned the GM Job?

Washington Wizards Tommy Sheppard (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Tommy Sheppard (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have not yet removed Tommy Sheppard’s interim tag. Is it time they make him the permanent head front office executive?

Tommy Sheppard stayed back, waited his turn and has now made some moves to recoup what Ernie Grunfeld decided wasn’t worth having. In the span of eight-plus weeks since Grunfeld’s been gone, Sheppard has drafted players that will change the culture in Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield. He’s also gotten back an assortment of assets that Ernie Grunfeld usually wouldn’t have valued, including second-round picks in addition to cheap young talent from the Los Angeles Lakers (Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones) and San Antonio Spurs (Davis Bertans).

During free agency, Sheppard’s signed Isaiah Thomas who, if healthy, can be a dangerous weapon for the Wizards. And for what it’s worth, Thomas is telling anyone that will listen that he is healthy. Additionally, he brought in Ish Smith on a two-year, $12 million contract. Although signed before Thomas, Smith will probably be a backup. With this duo, pace won’t be an issue for the Wizards this season.

Sheppard also re-signed a rising talent, a fan favorite, and a much-needed position to fill by bringing back Thomas Bryant. Bryant signed a three-year, $25 million contract, keeping him in DC for at least a few more years.

So why doesn’t Ted Leonsis just give Tommy the keys and allow him to drive the car without adult supervision? Take the gloves off! The position has been “vacant” for too long, and Sheppard’s proved his worth.

Mark my word, with these moves, the Wizards will be competitive again in two years. That’s 2021 for those of you keeping track.

Looking across the DC sports landscape, Sheppard is probably one of the best GM’s here in DC behind Brian MacLellan. Bruce Allen loses on the field and off the field with the Washington Redskins. The Nationals and Mike Rizzo are now buyers instead of sellers. The Wizards are rebuilding, and seem to be doing it the right way. That is why they are the most attractive team to watch this year and year. With the Wizards and Tommy Sheppard, the future is bright.

My belief is Sheppard knows he’s won this job even if he hasn’t been publicly or officially given the job. He knew it was his job to get once Grunfeld was fired. Now, whether you like it or not, he’s the man running the show. It’s time to stand behind him and allow him to fix this slippery slope that Grunfeld set the Washington Wizards sliding down long before he left the franchise.

So, my question to all of you is, does Tommy Sheppard deserve to drive the Lamborghini? I think so.