Tommy Sheppard Named GM of the Washington Wizards

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

After working with the interim tag for months, Tommy Sheppard is finally the general manager of the Washington Wizards.

What has become a foregone conclusion in recent weeks is finally official. The Washington Wizards have named Tommy Sheppard as their new general manager according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. The news comes after months of Sheppard working as the team’s interim head executive. He assumed the duties in May following the firing of Ernie Grunfeld.

Although a few sexier names had floated out there at the beginning of the search process, including Tim Connelly, Masai Ujiri, and Gersson Rosas, it had recently become increasingly clear that the job was Sheppard’s to lose.

On the surface, it could look like the Wizards simply struck out with all of their top options and finally landed on their reliable, in-house backup plan. Whether the Wizards actually had any real shot at Connelly or Ujiri, though, is unclear. They could have been, and now look like they were, more pipedreams than anything.  Regardless, Sheppard has more than earned the job while serving in an interim capacity.

Amidst all the uncertainty, Sheppard was impressive on draft night. He went with an unexpected pick at nine in Rui Hachimura. Maybe not a popular pick on draft night, but the more we get to see of the rookie, the better he looks. Trading for a second-round pick and getting a solid player in Admiral Schofield wasn’t a bad look, either.

Sheppard made savvy moves in free agency, re-signing Thomas Bryant and bringing  C.J. Miles, Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to DC for next to nothing. Even better, he was able to acquire some more second-round picks along the way, too.

The Ish Smith signing was iffy, and he sure took a gamble with Isaiah Thomas. But it is just $2.3 million gamble, and it could pay off. On a one-year, minimum deal, it’s not a bad bet. We’ll have to wait and see.

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It’s hardly a roster that will contend in the East, but Sheppard did a decent job after being left with Grunfeld’s mess. He had a good audition. Now let’s see what he does in the lead role.