Wizards Hire Will Dawkins As No. 2 Basketball Executive

JUNE 8: The Wizards have announced the hirings of Dawkins and Schlenk, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. In addition, former Providence and Georgetown coach John Thompson III was promoted to senior VP of Monumental Basketball and will “be focused on exploring and implementing best practices for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go while ensuring accountability for excellence across the organization.” (Twitter link).

JUNE 5: New Wizards president Michael Winger plans to hire Will Dawkins to be his second in command of the basketball operations department, report Josh Robbins and David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Ava Wallace of The Washington Post confirms the news (via Twitter). Marc Stein was first to report that Dawkins was a “strong candidate” to join the Wizards’ new-look front office.

Dawkins is currently the Thunder‘s vice president of basketball operations and has been with Oklahoma City since 2008. He initially got his start as an intern and steadily worked his way up to be a high-level executive.

Winger and Dawkins worked together from 2010-17 while with the Thunder. Winger was the Clippers’ GM from 2017 until May, when he was hired away to run Washington’s front office. Dawkins will report directly to Winger and will be tasked with overseeing the Wizards’ roster in a general manager-type role.

Dawkins is the second major hire Winger has made in the past week, joining senior vice president of player personnel Travis Schlenk. Schlenk, who was formerly the Hawks’ president of basketball operations, will oversee Washington’s player evaluation work at all levels (amateur, international, and professional).

Winger’s previous work has focused less on player evaluation and more on bigger-picture roster construction and strategy, as well as navigating the CBA and salary cap, so he reportedly wants to ensure he’s surrounded by strong player evaluators. Now he has two experienced executives to work alongside.