Nuggets associate head coach Wes Unseld Jr. is emerging as the leader to become the Wizards‘ new head coach, according to Shams Charania and Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link).
The Athletic’s report comes on the heels of an ESPN report on Wednesday, which suggested that Unseld and Bucks assistant Darvin Ham were the favorites for the Wizards’ job. That story stated that Bucks assistant Charles Lee also remains in the mix, but it appears Unseld has a leg up on the two Milwaukee coaches.
Unseld, who grew up in Maryland and attended Johns Hopkins from 1994-97, began his coaching career in 2005 in D.C. He spent six years as an assistant on the Wizards’ staff from 2005-11 before moving on to coaching roles with the Warriors (2011-12), Magic (2012-15), and Nuggets (2015-present).
It would certainly make for a good story if the Wizards end up choosing Unseld as Scott Brooks‘ replacement, since his father, Hall-of-Famer Wes Unseld Sr., was a D.C. icon. The elder Unseld, who passed away in 2020, earned five All-Star nods and an MVP award in Baltimore and Washington for the then-Bullets, then coached the team and later held a front office role.
The Pelicans and Wizards are the last two teams still conducting head coaching searches this offseason, though New Orleans appears to be on the verge of hiring Willie Green to fill their vacancy.