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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Jeff Van Gundy
Jeff Van Gundy, analyst for ESPN (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

No. 4 Jeff Van Gundy

Part of the recent ESPN layoffs, Jeff Van Gundy has shown a strong interest in returning to coaching. Along with his longtime partner Mark Jackson, he is often thrown into rumors as a candidate as a replacement during the annual coaching purge that occurs after every postseason.

As a head coach, he led both the Patrick Ewing era New York Knicks and the Yao Ming era Houston Rockets. While both of these teams were constantly outperformed by better, healthier teams, he did help the Knicks make their first Finals appearance since the early 70s.

Van Gundy is definitely a coach that leans more towards the defensive end of the floor. Every year he was with the Rockets featured a top five defense in the league and the Knicks were also a great defensive team.

Bringing him on to the assistant coaching staff could greatly help Wes Unseld Jr better establish his strengths as a coach. There is also reportedly ‘mutual interest’ between the former Coach of the Year candidate and the Washington Wizards.