Thursday, May 31, 2012
Updated: June 2, 8:28 AM ET
Sources: Wiz to keep Randy Wittman
By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine
The Washington Wizards plan to retain Randy Wittman as their coach, league sources said, even though no official announcement is expected anytime soon.
The Wizards began discussing a two-year deal with Wittman shortly after Thursday's lottery, sources said. The deal is believed to be one year guaranteed plus a team option on a second. The value of the deal was not available.
Wittman, 52, was named interim coach in January after the Wizards fired Flip Saunders following a 2-15 start, and he is already under contract through next season. The Wizards finished the season on a roll, winning their last six in a row and eight of their last 10. There has been no indication that the Wizards plan to extend Wittman's contract, sources said.
There are several high-profile head coaches on the market -- Stan Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan and Nate McMillan lead the list -- but the Wizards have not expressed any interest in interviewing them or any other potential candidates.
Had the Wizards won the draft lottery and earned the right to draft Kentucky's Anthony Davis, the cost of investing in a higher-profile coach might've been worthwhile, a source said, but with the Wizards still in rebuilding mode and the job Wittman did with their young players last season, the team will stand pat for now.
Saunders was let go 17 games into the third year of a four-year deal worth $18 million. The Wizards utilized a buyout clause for the fourth year, but Saunders still walked away with nearly $15 million, according to sources.