These are the months coaches sweat the most. Rick Carlisle and Larry Drew got taken care of despite first round exits and questions (certainly about Drew) about their team's long-term futures. Stan Van Gundy is no longer twisting in the wind and he is looking forward to a short (or long) time off.
There are still 27 other coaches and many of them are not going to know their futures until perhaps training camp opens. Count the NBA Draft as the unofficial deadline for teams to have new head coaches in place and decisions made to prepare for the long-term futures of their teams.
The Wizards do not quite know where their future is at. The rebuilding process began with the trades of Nick Young and JaVale McGee. Washington is expected to make a decision about what to do with Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis. Both are set to become free agents in 2013 and both are candidates for an amnesty or a complete buyout.
Washington seems determined to change the environment around John Wall and make the Wizards a franchise he wants to play for.
That has meant that coach Randy Wittman has come under some fire. Nobody is quite sure if the Wizards want to remove the interim tag and keep him around or bring in an entirely new coaching staff. By all accounts this decision is still being made.
A source with knowledge of the Wizards' thinking recently described the situation as "an ongoing process," adding that the team has no timetable to make a decision. Wittman and his assistants are still under contract for next season, lessening the urgency. But the silence – and lack of aggressiveness in pursuing other potential candidates – has raised speculation amongst agents and rival league executives that they all will be brought back.
Lee reports that a source told him that it seems like the franchise is leaning toward keeping Wittman, but nobody seems to know at this point. Wittman and his staff are under contract for one more year. That, according to Lee, might be why there is not much urgency to make a decision regarding Wittman's future with the club for the 2013 season.
Wittman went 18-31 after taking over for Flip Saunders shortly into the season. Washington remained at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and kind of lost as they try to figure out the franchise's future. This is a question that is not going to be settled properly until the Wizards know where they will pick after next week's NBA Draft Lottery. Wall needs a young partner to run with, one that will be a good influence and not just a ball-chucker.
The Wizards are taking this decision pretty seriously, as they should. They realize that Wall is at an important point of his career.
Is Wittman the right coach?
Well, Wittman has never really had much success in the NBA. In addition to that 18-31 year last year, Wittman has never made the Playoffs in six seasons as a head coach. His career record is 118-238 and his career high for wins is 32. That does not exactly scream championship or good coaching chops. Of course, he was not coaching teams with much talent.
The Wizards have to make a decision on Wittman, but if they keep him they have to begin putting the talent on his roster and around Wall to build up to a return to the playoffs. That seems a far way off. And Wittman will probably not be around to see it. It just might not be next year.
If Wittman stays, he has to view it as one final chance to show that he can coach this team. He has to reach his team and show that the franchise is moving forward. Otherwise, he will be looking for a new franchise to coach.
|Like CC on Facebook||Follow CC on Twitter|