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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Clippers lose top executive to Eastern Conference team

Steve Ballmer at a press conference

Aug 18, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer at press conference at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first domino may be falling for the LA Clippers.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that Clippers GM Michael Winger is leaving the team to become the lead executive of the Washington Wizards. Winger’s new title will officially be the President of Monumental Basketball, which will have him overseeing the basketball operations for the Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go (all of whom are under the Monumental Basketball umbrella).

Winger was hired as Clippers GM in 2017. He was one of the top decision-makers in the team’s front office (with president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, executive board member Jerry West, and others). During Winger’s tenure, the Clippers acquired superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, drafted gems like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (who was later traded) and Terance Mann, and made the deepest playoff run in franchise history (going to the Western Conference Finals in 2021).

With the Wizards, Winger will be tasked with building a better team around supermax player Bradley Beal (as Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma get set to become free agents this summer). As for the Clippers, that may just be the first of multiple high-profile departures this offseason.

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