Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will head the team’s search for a new coach in the wake of Randy Wittman‘s dismissal today, as Grunfeld told reporters, a remark that appears to remove lingering doubt about the executive’s future with the team, observes J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Earlier reports conflicted about Grunfeld’s job security, though he’s under contract through next season.
See more from Washington, where the Wizards reportedly have strong interest in Scott Brooks and others, as we passed along in our Wittman story.
- Wizards players concluded that they couldn’t rely on the team’s coaches when they held a players-only meeting in January that veteran Jared Dudley organized, and Dudley criticized the coaching staff’s lack of adjustments in March, Michael notes, suggesting Wittman changed Dudley’s role in retaliation.
- John Wall wants to see the Wizards re-sign soon-to-be free agents Dudley, Alan Anderson and Garrett Temple, Michael writes in a separate piece. Anderson is enthusiastic about a new deal with the team, and while Dudley is open to returning as long as Wittman isn’t around, he’s looking for the security of a long-term contract, according to Michael, who speculates Dudley is unlikely to be back.
- The partial guarantee on Wittman’s salary for next season is $500K, sources tell Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post (Twitter link), so the Wizards are still responsible for paying that much to the fired coach.
- Wittman issued a statement in which he said he believes the team is headed in the right direction as he thanked the organization for the opportunity to coach, as Castillo relays via Twitter.