Waiting until the season is over should not be the thinking of Ted Leonsis. Attempting to wait it out while John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, and A.J. Price return from injury should not be an option either. The owner of the Washington Wizards has to act now. More than just this season happens to be at stake; the reputation of Leonsis as an owner, and the franchise he purchased a few years ago are both on the line.
The Wizards had high expectations going into this season. Many questioned the decision of Leonsis to retain GM Ernie Grunfeld for another 2 seasons, considering he was the man responsible for the mess for which Leonsis gave him credit for cleaning up. Still, the statement was made that being in the lottery for another season would be unacceptable, and he issued Grunfeld another set of keys to the franchise. Grunfeld started off on a shaky note by trading for overpriced free agents Emeka Okafor and the aforementioned Ariza. Without a healthy Wall or Nene Hilario, the Wizards have struggled greatly and now show traces of a fractured locker room.
Someone has to take the fall for how the season has turned out thus far. All of the players the organization labeled “knuckle heads” have been jettisoned out of town. The coaching staff remains. The same front office remains. Now is as good a time as any for Leonsis to realize that the problem was much deeper than a few players on the court. The long time failures of this franchise is a systematic issue. An issue that starts with the hiring of a new President of Basketball Operations and General Manager. Again, the Wizards can’t afford to wait until the end of the season. Moves need to be made now in order to show the current players and prospective players that this Wizards franchise is nothing like the apathetic franchise we have come to know.