The Washington Wizards announced on Saturday that Denver Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld, Jr. is their new head coach. He has signed a four-year contract to be the Washington Wizards’ head coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The news of the extension comes one day after reports surfaced on the Wizards offering him the position.
OFFICIAL: We've named Wes Unseld Jr. the 25th head coach in franchise history.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 17, 2021
Welcome home, Coach! #DCAboveAll
Wizards offered the job to Denver's associate head coach on Friday, and worked out terms today to complete a formal agreement, sources said. https://t.co/129XXEx5tO— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2021
A four-year contract is appropriate given the Wizards’ goal to compete right away while balancing out the possibility that the team may have to rebuild if things don’t work out. In addition, this contract isn’t as long as Scott Brooks’ five-year deal from 2016-21, so that gives Washington flexibility as well if things don’t work out.
In a release by the team, General Manager Tommy Sheppard said “Wes is one of the most highly-regarded assistant coaches in the NBA and clearly separated himself from the large and diverse group of candidates we considered.”
Unseld also said in the release that “becoming a head coach in the NBA is a goal that I have pursued my entire adult life and to have that dream realized by coming full circle back to Washington is truly special.”
In closing, I encourage you to read a recent piece by Fred Katz of The Athletic on some of the details around Unseld’s interview process with Washington, if you have a subscription of course. Given his ideas on how he would utilize Bradley Beal and Deni Avdija, I think he is starting things off on the right foot already!
Welcome home, Wes!