Two months ago, Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis made it clear that he expected to see the Wizards play .500 ball down the stretch once John Wall returned from injury. The Wizards are 20-16 with Wall in the lineup following their 101-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors Saturday, so they appear to be on target to meet Leonsis' wishes.
That's why it should come as little surprise that general manager Ernie Grunfeld is reportedly likely to return next season. NBA insider Ric Bucher, speaking as the sideline reporter on the Golden State Warriors' broadcast, had this to say last night:
"But in talking to GM's around the league when they've seen Bradley Beal and [John] Wall together, and you compare them to some of the other backcourts, like James Harden and Jeremy Lin or Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, the consensus is as far as those two pieces fitting together, it's a great combination because Wall has the ability to penetrate, Beal is a great knock down shooter, and they love the flow that those 2 guys have gotten," Bucher said.
"So, everything that I'm hearing is that because of what they have shown down the stretch here now once healthy, that Ernie Grunfeld, Tommy Sheppard and that whole front office will be back next year and get a chance to show that they've put together a team that can be a playoff team in the postseason."
Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman both signed two-year contract extensions after last season, with Grunfeld reportedly taking a pay cut on his new deal.
Most of us have been resigned to this fate for a while now, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. Leonsis was clear in his expectations, and Grunfeld's team has clearly met them.
(Thanks to wizardzzz for the transcription).