2:41pm: The deal is official, according to the team, which made the announcement on its website.
“We are pleased with the progress the team has made on the court and with the culture we have been able to build with Randy as our head coach,” GM Ernie Grunfeld said. “We will look to continue that momentum with him deservedly leading this group of dedicated and hard-working players.”
12:47pm: The Wizards and Randy Wittman have agreed on a three-year extension that will give the coach about $3MM per season through 2016/17, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the sides were close to a deal last week. The third season will be a team option, Lee writes.
Wittman’s contract had been set to expire at the end of the month after he led the Wizards closer to the conference finals than they’ve been since 1979, the last time they won multiple games in the second round. Washington also made a 15-game improvement in the regular season, but the coach’s job apparently still remained in jeopardy until the Wizards dispatched the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.
Washington is 91-122 in parts of three seasons under Wittman, who’s 191-329 overall as an NBA head coach, having also spent time with the Cavs and Timberwolves. This season was the first time Wittman’s coached a team to a record of better than .500, so perhaps that explains the Wizards’ reported hesitance to commit to him before he’d proven himself in the playoffs. Still, Washington is on the rise, and up-and-coming stars John Wall and Bradley Beal endorsed the coach at season’s end.