JUNKIES: Tim Bontemps checks in on the Wizards' GM search


The Wizards’ GM search is still ongoing with no end seemingly in sight, and when WaPo’s national NBA writer, Tim Bontemps, joined The Junkies on Tuesday morning, he had no idea either.

“I’m not sure when we’ll hear some news – I think the Wizards are taking their time to figure out what they want to do,” Bontemps said. “Some lottery luck for Victor Wembanyama on Tuesday would change things, but I think in general, the real question is what direction Ted Leonsis is willing to go in with the team. Is he willing to look at a long-term rebuild to try to turn things over, or is the goal just to try to get back into the playoffs?”

The latter was what the organization hung their hat on when firing Tommy Sheppard last month, but is the goal just to get into the East’s Top 10, or get up high and stay there?

“In the release that announced Tommy’s departure, the thing that was highlighted was not making the playoffs the last couple years,” Bontemps said, “so the real question is the organizational direction no matter who is in charge. Again, some lottery luck would help, but assuming they don’t move up and pick ninth or tenth again, the question is what Ted wants to accomplish, and I think that will be answered by who he hires to run the team.”

Wembanyama is the consensus No. 1 pick and hopeful to be a difference maker – it would be tough not to be at 7-foot-5 – but what position will he play?

“The term unicorn has been used a lot, but this guy is a unicorn. Essentially, if it all works out, you could argue he’s a 7-foot-5 Kevin Durant. I’m not sure it will exactly go that way, and I’m curious to see how it does, but at the end of the day we’re talking about a 7-foot-5 guy who can move fluidly and shoot the three, and be a tremendous weak-side shot blocker and defensive presence. He’s not going to play center, if somebody tries and he’s trying to guard Joel Embiid, that will end badly, but if you get him with a team that can utilize his skill set, he has a chance to be a tremendous player. He’s a freakish athlete.”

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