As the Washington Wizards transition into the offseason with the goal of turning the franchise into a legitimate contender, a large amount of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of general manager Tommy Sheppard.
However, NBA Hall-of-Famer and current analyst Charles Barkley has his eye on another executive tasked with helping Washington grow. Sashi Brown, Chief Planning & Operations Officer for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, focusing on the Wizards, is someone Barkley feels can play a large role in improving the roster.
“I’ll tell you what, I like Sashi Brown man, I think he’s going to do a great job down there if ya’ll are patient," Barkley said on 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny.
“But I think if y’all give him time, really smart guy, ya’ll just gotta be patient.”
Prior to joining Washington, Brown worked within the front offices of the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars, and so he brings years of experience in team operations. Brown can act as a valuable voice as Sheppard and company look to build a team that can compete for a title.
Yet as Barkley said, patience could be necessary. While the Wizards have stars in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, there are still holes on the roster. Brown will be part of the task force looking to find the missing links, but it may not happen overnight.
Still, Barkley is encouraged by recent moves Washington has made. That includes acquiring Daniel Gafford at the trade deadline during the 2020-21 season. When watching the Wizards take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the postseason, the center was someone who consistently caught his attention.
“I really like Gafford, Gafford was the bright spot in the playoffs," Barkley said. "He was terrific.”
Barkley is also a fan of 2019 first-round pick Rui Hachimura, another player who has shown flashes of true potential but still has room to grow as he enters Year 3. Seeing the Wizards find valuable assets with those two moves has Barkley thinking that similar transactions in the future could help the Wizards reach the next level.
“Ya’ll got to figure out what to do with Wes [Russell Westbrook] and Bradley [Beal], but man, ya’ll have made some good draft picks lately," Barkley said.