Those who work for the Washington Wizards can expect to see managing partner Ted Leonsis around more often. After conducting a months-long restructuring of the organization, Leonsis discovered there could be benefits to a more hands-on approach from ownership, not necessarily in a basketball-meddling sense, but in a way that allows the front office to operate with proper autonomy while answering more questions about their process.
Players, coaches and staffers will see Leonsis and his partners more frequently as well. He wants to pay closer attention than he did under the previous regime led by Ernie Grunfeld.
"Our owners are going to be more involved," Leonsis said. "You constantly have to gauge back and forth: is it good to be involved, or is it not good to be involved? Every agent, every player that I’ve talked to said the more they see Raul Fernandez and Laurene Powell-Jobs and me, the more connected they feel to what our vision and what our ultimate plan is."
In analyzing the Wizards organization this spring following Grunfeld's dismissal, Leonsis realized a lack of communication. Under the old model, he got the vast majority of his briefings from Grunfeld who was a singular conduit to the ownership group.
Leonsis wants more collaboration this time and it shows in the way the front office is structured. Tommy Sheppard is the general manager, but can see eye-to-eye with Sashi Brown, their chief planning and operations officer. And not far from them on the depth chart are a series of vice presidents, each with specialized roles.