Wizards former head coach finds new NBA home as Bulls top assistant

Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

As the NBA playoffs roll on and teams gear up to begin their offseason activities, coaching vacancies around the league begin to be filled. On Saturday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Washington Wizards front office executive Wes Unseld Jr. had accepted a position with the Chicago Bulls.

According to Wojnarowski, Unseld Jr. will join Chicago as the team's leading assistant coach, working on Billy Donovan's coaching staff. The Maryland native has spent nearly 20 years working in professional basketball, going from personnel scouting to becoming a front-office advisor for the Wizards.

Wes Unseld Jr. departs from Washington Wizards front office

Before being moved up to a front-office position last January, the son of Wizards legend Wes Unseld served as Washington's head coach for 207 games between 2021 and 2024. In each of his two full seasons at the helm, Unseld Jr. led the Wizards to a 35-47 record, missing the playoffs both years.

With the new front office aiming to turn things around in the District in 2023, team president Michael Winger and general manager Will Dawkins decided to remove Unseld Jr. from the head coaching position. Unseld began the 2023-24 campaign with a 7-36 record, struggling to utilize Jordan Poole's skillset. Rather than firing him, Winger and Dawkins opted to move Unseld Jr. into an advisor role, doing right by the long-time Wizards employee.

The Wizards remain in search of a head coach after installing Brian Keefe as their interim coach in January, taking careful detail in their offseason coaching search. As Winger and Dawkins continue their search, any chance of reinstating Unseld Jr. is now out of the window.

Under Keefe, the Wizards saw a noticeable uptick in production, winning more games than Unseld Jr.'s team in fewer times out. A big part of reshaping the franchise has been reconstructing the coaching staff, which included the removal of nearly every member of the team's coaching staff in April.

With Unseld Jr. on his way to Chicago, a new era of Washington basketball is taking shape. As the offseason continues, fans in the District will continue to watch for who Winger and Dawkins decide is fit to lead the next great Wizards team.

Next. 2 Wizards who became untouchable in 2024. 2 Wizards who became untouchable in 2024. dark