Washington Wizards Ownership Tabs Los Angeles Clippers GM for President

The Washington Wizards have finally settled on the man they believe can shepherd them back to contention. The team announced that Los Angeles Clippers general manager Michael Winger will take over as president of Monumental Sports, which will include overseeing the Wizards, the WNBA's Washington Mystics, and the G-League's Capital City Go-Go.

Winger had been with the Clippers since 2017. Most famously, he brokered the deals that brought Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to Los Angeles. Though his teams failed to win a championship during his tenure, he drastically elevated the Clippers' profile and led them to six straight winning seasons.

It's a massive promotion and workload for Winger, who will essentially go from running one team to three. It'll be interesting to see if Washington ownership allows him to spend resources on the scale he did in Los Angeles. The Clippers sported the largest active payroll in the NBA in 2022-23 at over $191 million and footed a colossal $140.3 million luxury tax bill. Those numbers more than double the Wizards' total payroll expenditures this season ($150.1 million).

Still, the fact that Winger has the job in the first place has to be seen as a commitment to aggressively pursuing competitiveness by the Wizards. Given his history, there's no way Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis is hiring him to be thrifty. Winger is a wheeler and dealer with a proven track record negotiating with stars and could potentially bring a certain level of glamor back to the franchise. The Wizards haven't advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since 1979; they likely see Winger as the man to change that.

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