Conflicting reports have emerged about the job security of Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld, as two people with knowledge of the situation told J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic recently that his position is safe while league sources told Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops that Grunfeld is no lock to return. The 60-year-old executive is under contract through next season, as Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post revealed this week, but people around the league have for the past few months brought up Danny Ferry‘s name as a possible replacement, according to Scotto. Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver has also drawn mention as a potential candidate, Scotto writes.
Coach Randy Wittman‘s salary for next season is only partially guaranteed, and Scotto writes that he’s “not expected” to return. However, it doesn’t appear as though the team has made any final decision.
The Wizards are on the brink of elimination from playoff contention, three and a half games back of the eighth-place Pistons with four to play. They’re also in line to relinquish their first-round pick to the Suns as part of the Markieff Morris trade. Washington has long planned to recruit Kevin Durant, a D.C. native, in the summer ahead, but the team’s losing season has dimmed its hopes of a homecoming for the former MVP, as Scotto notes. The uncertainty surrounding the future of several soon-to-be free agents on the Wizards is one of several contributing factors to the team’s slippage this year, Castillo posits.
Ferry’s name has emerged frequently in recent months following the buyout deal that ended his tenure as GM of the Hawks, as he’s reportedly been a candidate for GM vacancies with the Nets and Sixers, in spite of the controversy regarding the racially charged remarks he read from a scouting report in 2014. Weaver has been with the Thunder since the 2008/09 season, helping build Oklahoma City into a perennial title contender.
Grunfeld is one of the NBA’s longest tenured executives, having run the Wizards front office since the 2003/04 season. Every player on the team was acquired under his watch.