Grunfeld Talks Contract Extension, Nene, Blatche

The Wizards announced this morning that they'd officially agreed to terms on an extension for team president Ernie Grunfeld, whose contract was set to expire at season's end. Grunfeld spoke to reporters today about his new deal and his plans for the team going forward. Here are a few highlights, courtesy of Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

  • Asked if he felt he deserved a contract extension, Grunfeld said, "The important thing is [owner] Ted [Leonsis] felt that."
  • The Wizards are in the second year of a three-year rebuild, and Grunfeld thinks the team is making good progress and has a "bright future."
  • Washington doesn't figure to be an active player in free agency, since the team thinks of the acquisition of Nene as a sort of free agent signing: "Last summer he was the most sought-after free agent in the marketplace. We were able to get him via trade instead of having to play the free agent game and going out there not knowing for sure if you were going to get a player of his caliber. We played the free agent game, we just did it a little bit different. We are paying somebody a very nice salary."
  • Grunfeld praised the job that coach Randy Wittman has done, pointing out that the players are playing "very hard" for him. However, he was noncommital on Wittman's future, saying he'd evaluate the situation with Leonsis after the season.
  • Asked whether Andray Blatche had played his last game for the Wizards, Grunfeld replied, "No. Not necessarily. Players are always forgiven if they come back and perform well…. That remains to be seen. It’s going to be a process that we’ll monitor during the summer." Blatche is under contract for three more seasons, but is a candidate to be amnestied.

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