Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards reach deal with Wes Unseld Jr. as next head coach

The Washington Wizards announced on Saturday that they have hired Denver Nuggets associate head coach, Wes Unseld Jr., to become the 25th head coach in franchise history.

Unseld Jr. spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach in Denver before receiving the promotion to associate head coach this past season. He played an integral role in the Nuggets making the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and helped develop key young players such as reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and rising star Jamal Murray.

Prior to joining Denver, Unseld Jr. spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic and one season as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Taking the head coaching job with the Wizards, Unseld Jr. will return to where his NBA coaching career began as a former assistant in Washington.

Unseld Jr. started out as a scout for the Wizards in 1997, staying in that role for eight seasons until 2005, where he was promoted to an assistant. He served as an assistant coach in Washington for six seasons (2005-2011), helping lead the team to the playoffs in four consecutive years from 2005-2008.

Washington's new head coach is the son of Wes Unseld, a Hall of Famer and the greatest player in Wizards franchise history.

"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," said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. "His strong record as an in-game tactician along with his attention to detail on both sides of the ball, combined with his reputation for player development and outstanding character during his 20-plus years of coaching left no doubt that he was the best choice to guide our team to the next level."

Unseld Jr.'s hiring crosses off the final head coaching vacancy of the offseason, which started with eight openings.

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