So it's now official: Flip Saunders is coaching next year's edition of the Washington Wizards. Apparently, he'll sign a 4 year/$18 million contract to do so.
You know how I feel, but what about others?
- David Aldridge: "Maybe Arenas is not the same person at 27 that he was at 23. Lots of guards, like Chauncey Billups, for example -- who swears by Saunders, by the way -- become more team-oriented as their careers continue. It might be that we're looking everywhere else to find someone who can get in Arenas's head when the right guy looks at him in the mirror every morning. If that's true, then Saunders will do just fine. If that's true.
- Hardwood Paroxysm: "Flip Saunders and the Washington Wizards are a match made in Gilbert's own Gilberty heaven."
- Stet Sports: "The question you have to ask yourself with the Flip Saunders-to-the-Wizards rumors is really quite simple. Will Gilbert Arenas like playing for him? Because if the answer is yes, which is what Saunders has generally been praised for throughout his career, you can look forward to a possible Caron Butler trade, a media barnburner in Arenas, and a few more years of barely-making-the-playoffs mediocrity."
- Basketball Jones: Skeets loves the move, Tas wonders why we fired Eddie Jordan.
- Rip Hamilton: "Oh, I think he'd be good for Washington and for the city. He's an offensive genius and he brings a lot of great concepts to the game. He would be great for them." (via Detroit News)
- Chad Ford: He's a good offensive coach on a team with a lot of offensive weapons. I think he'll help the Wizards, but realistically, the best case scenario for the Wizards is what? A fourth seed? I don't see Saunders making the Wizards a serious title contender, even with a potential Top 3 pick in the draft coming. Maybe I'll feel differently if they land Blake Griffin.
- Fanhouse: "The Wizards went with the experienced guy here and there are worse ways they could have gone with this hire. Who knows, maybe this combination of coach and team will provide the punch Washington has been looking for for the better part of the last three decades."
- Michael Wilbon: Flip Saunders is a perfectly reasonable choice for a team to hire as its head coach. I'm just not sure he's the right fit for the Washington Wizards.
- NBA Roundtable: It’s a good decision by Washington. It’s not an inspired choice, or a reach for the stars type of coach, but Flip knows his business and does it really well. Saunders has been found lacking at the highest level, and that’s likely to continue, to dismay of Wizards fans … but he is a good coach and he’ll get the team back into working order.
- DC Sports Bog: Gilbert's Vendetta Against Flip Saunders. (chill folks, it's light-hearted).
- Detroit Bad Boys: Given the Wizards’ roster and Flip’s strengths as a coach, I couldn’t think of a better situation for him.
- Caron Butler: "Flip is a great coach. Very offensive-minded. You've seen some of the things he did in Minnesota and obviously Detroit."
- John Thompson: "He's a reputable coach, and he will help the Wizards, but the question has never been about coaching. The Wizards need to be healthy more than anything else. If all these guys are healthy together, they'll have a pretty respectable team."
- Sporting Blog: Shoals hedges his bets masterfully.
- SayNoToFlip.com: Well, you probably know what's going to be said over there. (HT: Stet Sports)
- The Secret Weapon: Saunders isn't going to start public or private feuds with players. He's going to implement a solid system - on both ends of the floor - and put the players in position to succeed. Is it a thrilling or exciting choice? Nope. But it feels to me like a very good one.
- Ken Berger, CBS Sportsline: "This is just my opinion, but I think Saunders was the right choice for the Washington Wizards. Unlike Detroit, where he was prematurely canned amid a locker-room revolt, Washington has a stable locker room and a core of veterans eager to reach their potential. With Saunders in charge, the message is clear: The Wizards' future is on the players."
I'll add more as I see them, but feel free to do so as well.