Sashi Brown

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Dragic, Davis

Sashi Brown, who previously led the NFL’s Cleveland Browns but will now work within the Wizards‘ new-look front office, admits that it will take some time to transition to the NBA, though he sees opportunity to add value, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports passes along.

“I think that if you’re relying on winning to develop your culture you probably don’t have a very good culture,” Brown said. “It really has to be the driver for winning. That’s what we’re going to do. We’ve got guys that are experienced and passionate that will hold the entire organization accountable.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Goran Dragic was nearly traded this offseason and that might suggest that his days on the Heat are numbered but Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel sees it differently. The scribe envisions Dragic playing better in 2019/20 and suggests that the best move for both parties would be to sign a one-year deal at the end of the season, as the Heat are financially gearing up for the summer of 2021 in order to chase star free agents.
  • The Hornets may have to choose between Malik Monk and Nicolas Batum as they decide who will be in their starting lineup, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. The decision could come down to whether the team is planning on competing this season or investing in their young prospects.
  • Anthony Davis, who is from Chicago, called the city the “Mecca of basketball,” as The Chicago Tribune passes along. Davis added that he’d consider joining the Bulls at some point in the future if it made sense to do so.

Wizards Notes: Leonis, Sheppard, Brown, Medina, Roster

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis believes the franchise can make a quick turnaround, as he told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He believes that with backcourt stars John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the way, Washington can become a contender. However, Wall is expected to miss all of next season as he recovers from an Achilles tear.

“My belief is that you can you do things fast. We have the wherewithal and resources and facilities and technology,” Leonsis said. “If we can bring John back and, with Brad, develop our draft picks and assets, start to manage the [salary] cap, why can’t this be quick? It doesn’t need to be a five years it took when we drafted John and Brad. We can turn this one faster.”

We have more on the Wizards:

  • Leonsis indicated that new GM Tommy Sheppard and chief planning and operations officer Sashi Brown will have equal say on decisions where their duties overlap, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. There is going to be much more shared decision-making in the new front office setup. However, Brown said that basketball personnel decisions will ultimately be made by Sheppard (Twitter links).
  • Daniel Medina will also play a major front office role, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. Medina has been hired as the chief of athlete care and performance for Monumental Basketball. He will focus on medical, training, mental health, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and physical therapy and recovery. “The goal is to create a very collaborative, many-hands-make-light-work level and be prepared for the new NBA where data technology and health and wellness and all of these services merge with what is happening on the court,” Leonsis said.
  • Leonsis now believes having three max players on the roster isn’t conducive to building a successful team, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. Leonsis previously felt that having three max stars was the way to go but he now subscribes to the theory that spreading the wealth is a better approach. “Depth is becoming so much more important in this league, just because of the injuries,” he said.

Wizards Officially Announce Front Office Changes

The Wizards have officially named Tommy Sheppard their general manager, confirming the decision today in a press release. A Friday report had indicated that Sheppard – who held the position on an interim basis since April – would get the job on a permanent basis.

Washington’s press release includes announcements on other changes to the team’s front office. Most notably, Sashi Brown will serve as the chief planning and operations officer for Monumental Basketball, according to the franchise. Brown is a former NFL executive who worked in the Cleveland Browns’ front office for two years from 2016-17.

The Wizards also announced that Daniel Medina – previously the VP of athlete care for the Sixers – will be the organization’s chief of athlete care and performance, while former Georgetown and Princeton head coach John Thompson III will lead a new athlete development and engagement department.

“We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the ‘new NBA’ that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win,” Wizards team owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. “We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment.”

While Brown and Medina will play major roles in overseeing programs and services for all Monumental Basketball franchises – including the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Capital City Go-Go (G League), it will be Sheppard who remains in charge of the basketball operations department for the Wizards.

According to the team’s release, Sheppard will lead strategy, analytics, player personnel, scouting, and coaching for the Wizards and Go-Go.