Sources – Michael Winger leaves Clippers to lead Wizards

LA Clippers general manager Michael Winger has agreed to become president of Monumental Basketball, which gives him full leadership of the Washington Wizards, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Winger will also oversee the WNBA Mystics and the G-League Go-Go, sources said.

Winger had become the increasingly prominent target of Monumental owner Ted Leonsis’ search for a senior manager, and takes over the Wizards with a reputation as a passionate strategist, negotiator and relationship builder.

After arriving from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, Winger played a vital role in overhauling the Clippers franchise under the leadership of president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank and owner Steve Ballmer. Winger spent considerable time weighing the prospects of leaving the Clippers for Monumental Sports, sources said, but ultimately decided to take a shot at leading the Leonsis franchises.

Winger inherits a Wizards franchise that has missed the playoffs in four of five seasons, one that must build new infrastructure and deal with tough payroll decisions on a roster that could need a major overhaul. With All-Star guard Bradley Beal under contract for four years, more than $200 million, the Wizards must make choices to re-sign Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma to contract extensions.

Beal holds a full no-trade clause in his contract, which means the organization would have to work with him on a landing spot should the parties ultimately decide to make him available in trade talks.

New Orleans general manager Trajan Langdon also played an important role in the search for wizards, sources said. Winger and Langdon were the two leaders known to have had important face-to-face meetings with Leonsis and leaders of the organization, sources said.

The Wizards had conducted a methodical search for more than a month to find a new top basketball executive to replace Tommy Sheppard, who was fired in April.

Winger has previously spurned overtures to stay with the Clippers where he worked with Frank and Ballmer. The Clippers reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in history in 2021.

Prior to his seven years as an executive with the Thunder and President Sam Presti, Winger served as an executive with the Cleveland Cavaliers under general manager Danny Ferry from 2005 to 2010.


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