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LA Clippers General Manager Michael Winger leaves for Washington Wizards

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Michael Winger joins Washington Wizards from LA Clippers
Michael Winger is the new President of Monumental Basketball which includes NBA outfit Washington Wizards. | PHOTO: NBA |
  • LA Clippers General Manager Michael Winger has left the team to join NBA rival Washington Wizards
  • Michael Winger has been with LA Clippers since 2017 and has served for six years 
  • Winger will have full control over the Wizards, the Washington Mystics of the WNBA, and the G-League’s Go-Go

NBA outfit The Washington Wizards announced on Thursday that LA Clippers general manager Michael Winger has been appointed as the president of Monumental Basketball, giving him full control over the Wizards, the Washington Mystics of the WNBA, and the G-League’s Go-Go.

Winger, known for his strategic thinking, deal-making skills, and ability to build relationships, emerged as a top candidate in Monumental owner Ted Leonsis’ search for a new executive. He played a significant role in transforming the Clippers’ franchise. He joined them from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, working alongside president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank and owner Steve Ballmer. While Winger deliberated over the opportunity to join Monumental Sports, sources reveal that he ultimately decided to make the move to lead Leonsis’ teams.

Leonsis has given Winger full authority to shape the direction of the Wizards franchise, including the hiring of a GM-level basketball executive and making decisions regarding the roster, coaching staff, and other personnel matters. Although Wes Unseld Jr. is expected to continue as the coach for his third year, Winger will make significant front-office hires to guide the team’s future, especially with the NBA draft and free agency approaching in July. The Wizards currently hold the eighth pick in the upcoming draft, which takes place on June 22.

READ: What the Los Angeles Lakers have to do during off-season

Winger inherits a Wizards team that has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. The franchise needs to establish new infrastructure and navigate challenging decisions concerning player contracts and potential roster changes. With All-Star guard Bradley Beal signed to a four-year, $200 million-plus contract, the team will have to make choices regarding contract extensions for players like Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.

Michael Winger joins Washington Wizards from LA Clippers

Michael Winger served as the General Manager of the LA Clippers and has left the team to join Washington Wizards. | PHOTO: Washington Wizards Twitter |

 

It’s worth noting that Beal possesses a full no-trade clause, which means that if the organization decides to explore trade options, it will need to collaborate with him to find a suitable destination.

Trajan Langdon, the general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans, was also a prominent candidate in the Wizards’ search. Winger and Langdon were the two executives known to have had substantial in-person meetings with Leonsis and other members of the organization.

The Wizards conducted a thorough search lasting over a month to find a new top basketball executive following the dismissal of Tommy Sheppard in April.

Winger had previously declined offers to stay with the Clippers, where he had built a strong working relationship with Frank and Ballmer. The Clippers achieved their first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance in 2021.

Before his time with the Thunder, where he worked under President Sam Presti for seven years, Winger served as an executive with the Cleveland Cavaliers under GM Danny Ferry from 2005 to 2010.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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