5 candidates the Wizards should definitely consider in assistant coaching role

Mike D'Antoni. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Mike D'Antoni. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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In the midst of an already tumultuous offseason, the Washington Wizards have lost a large chunk of their coaching staff. This leaves numerous openings for the team to consider filling.

While there are currently three empty spots on the bench with more potentially on the way, the most interesting one is the void left by the exit of both Ryan Richman and Pat Delany. Richman was one of the lead assistant coaches within the franchise before electing to become the head coach of the SeaHorses Mikawa in Japan. Delany Was also a high-ranking assistant coach with the franchise who left for the Toronto Raptors.

Wes Unseld Jr will likely have immense influence in the decision-making process of Richman’s replacement. It is extremely common for head coaches to have their choice in assistants during their time with a franchise, something that has not yet happened for the Wizards’ head coach.

What should the Washington Wizards look for in an assistant coach?

There are really two ways to answer this question.

First, they could go with a coach who has a gift for creating offense. With Unseld Jr being more defensive minded, this would complement his strengths perfectly.

This is a similar model to what worked with the Boston Celtics during the Doc Rivers era featuring Tom Thibodeau and what the Golden State Warriors ran for years with Steve Kerr and Mike Brown.

The other route would be to go with an experienced coach with years of service under their belt so they can teach Unseld Jr the ins and outs of the position. This would allow the Wizards to keep their current head coach while also helping him improve at his job.

Before getting into the list, Mike D’Antoni get’s an honorable mention as he fits both of these categories perfectly. He has 16 years of experience as a coach and is one of the greatest offensive coaches in the history of the game. However, he hasn’t served on a team’s bench since the 2020-’21 season and is 72 years old, meaning he likely won’t be making a return to coaching.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at who I would love to see join the Washington Wizards coaching staff.