The Washington Wizards are still without a general manager with the 2019 NBA Draft less than three weeks away, and Tommy Sheppard is now expected to make the franchise's pick on June 20.
Sheppard -- the Wizards' senior VP of basketball operations -- has been the interim GM since the team parted with long-time president Ernie Grunfeld at the beginning of April. And NBC Sports' Washington Wizards Insider Chris Miller explained why he anticipates Sheppard making the team's draft decisions.
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Citing sources he spoke with over the weekend, Miller said Sheppard will still be acting as Washington's GM, which also implies that the position will still be vacant by the time draft day rolls around.
"I would not be surprised if Tommy Sheppard makes this pick," Miller explained on NBCSW's Wizards On the Clock Mock Draft show Monday. "That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to get the job, but I feel like he -- and his staff -- has already done all of this due diligence, they've done all this leg work, and maybe it would be a proxy move also."
While Sheppard making the Wizards' decisions in the NBA Draft doesn't guarantee anything about his future with the team in that role, he is a serious option to replace Grunfeld, as NBCSW has previously reported.
Team owner Ted Leonsis previously praised Sheppard, calling him a "highly regarded" candidate while also explaining the team was interviewing outside options.
But for right now, Miller continued explaining why he thinks Sheppard calling the shots for the draft is a very reasonable possibility.
"The only person that was relieved of their duties was Ernie Grunfeld," Miller said on NBCSW.
"Everybody else in that front office has been going about the business of basketball in the offseason, so I would not be surprised if we get to draft night, and Tommy Sheppard and obviously his staff that's still there right now make the pick."
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