Wizards Fire General Manager, Tommy Sheppard, After 4 Dreadful Seasons
This evening it was announced that Wizards’ GM, Tommy Sheppard, was being relieved of his duties in Washington after the Wizards failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons. Matter of fact, the Wizards had identical years in the past two seasons. Sheppard had been in the front office of the Wizards’ organization since 2003 but was GM for only four seasons.
In a press release from the Wizards, owner Ted Leonsis described the last two seasons as “very disappointing to our organization and our fans.” However, I think this feeling of disappointment can be extended far longer than just the last two seasons because it has been 6 long years since the Washington Wizards have won a playoff series.
In those 6 years, the Wizards have qualified for the playoffs only three times, making it past the first round only once back in 2017. However, with Sheppard at the helm in the front office, Washington has only seen postseason basketball once, in which they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in five games, and never recorded a winning season.
To go along with failure to find playoff success, Sheppard has made some questionable decisions when it came to acquiring and trading players. Most recently this past season, he traded Rui Hachimura to the Lakers for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. Hachimura was averaging 13 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists off the bench for the Wizards. Nunn, on the other hand, didn’t even scrape such numbers in a Wizards’ jersey, averaging 7.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in the 14 minutes a game he saw.
Nevertheless, there were still sunny days. A notable one was July 29, 2021. On that date, the Wizards traded Russell Westbrook, who had a huge contract that was expiring, and two second-round picks for Kyle Kuzma, KCP, Montrezl Harrell, and the 22nd overall pick in that year’s draft. Despite Kuzma being the only player left with the Wizards from that trade, at the time it was a crucial trade that was done for the better.
Wizards fans will now be glued to Twitter as Leonsis also stated, in the same press release referred to earlier, that the “search for new leadership will begin immediately for an executive from outside the organization.”
This big change within the Wizards makes it a busy offseason for Leonsis, who is also the owner of the Washington Capitals who parted ways with much of their coaching staff.