Despite some questions about his future with the team during the summer, the Washington Wizards front office threw their support behind their head coach in a major way to start training camp for the new season.
The expectation for head coaches in the NBA is as high as ever. Multiple staff leaders were let go following last season, including recent coach of the year award winners Monty Williams and Mike Budenholzer. One name that was in the firing speculation following last season was Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. Especially after the organization made major changes in the front office during the spring.
Yet, despite back-to-back losing years in his first two campaigns as a head coach, the Wizards held steady and will give Unseld Jr. a third season to prove he is the right man to lead the team back to the playoffs. However, the 2023-2024 NBA season was the final guaranteed year on the 48-year-old’s contract. Putting him in a position to look like a lame-duck head coach in a season with a lot of changes to the roster.
- Wes Unseld Jr. record: 70-94
Washington Wizards pick up Wes Unseld’s fourth-year option
But a new report on Tuesday claims the organization has made a move to strengthen Unseld Jr.’s position with his team. Washington Post NBA reporter Ava Wallace revealed today that “The Wizards, under a new front office, have picked up Coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s fourth-year option, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. That keeps Unseld in place through ‘24-25 as the Wizards begin a rebuild.”
In the summer, the organization seemingly put more of the blame for the results of the last two seasons on the roster instead of Unseld Jr. They made a pair of blockbuster trades that shipped off scoring big man Kristaps Porzingis and team great Bradley Beal. And in return, the Washington Wizards landed talented young guards Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole. Plus, they retained forward Kyle Kuzma in free agency.
There are some around the league who believe the Wiz could be a sleeper playoff contender in the Eastern Conference this season.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.