Wizards front office reveals details of offseason coaching search

New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Following the season finale in Boston, the Washington Wizards conducted their annual exit interviews, drawing a conclusion to the 2023-24 regular season. The interviews included player comments, words from coaches, and a peak behind the curtain with team president Michael Winger and general manager Will Dawkins.

The topic most were focused on finding an answer to when speaking to Wizards leadership: who will be the head coach next season?

43 games into the season, the Wizards reassigned Wes Unseld Jr., giving head coach responsibilities to Brian Keefe. Under Keefe, the team began to play a more inspired brand of basketball, including tougher defense and more active offense. Notably, 24-year-old guard Jordan Poole reemerged as a legitimate playmaker with Keefe calling the game for Washington.

Will Brian Keefe return as the Wizards head coach?

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards opted to clean house on Thursday, seemingly letting go of all coaching staff members aside from Brian Keefe and David Vanterpool.

It is worth noting that when Winger and Dawkins reached out to acquire assistant coaches last May, the two they came away with were Keefe and Vanterpool. Turning the franchise around starts at the top and part of the process includes the front office's decision to keep their guys around.

During the exit interviews, Dawkins divulged some information regarding the team's plan to do their due diligence in finding the right head coach going into the 2024-25 season.

"“We’ll look around, and we’ll definitely be inclusive ... At the end of the day, I think we’re going to find the right person who has the right core characteristics … and will be able to lead us and move us forward in this current phase that we’re in as a basketball club.”"

Wizards GM Will Dawkins

The core characteristics Dawkins spoke about in his interview last week certainly align with those the players desire. According to Ava Wallace of the Washington Post, the players made clear their ideal candidate for head coach is someone who exhibits accountability and strong communication skills.

Corey Kispert spoke last week about the communication skills of Winger and Dawkins, applauding the integrity with which the two have led the franchise through their first season in charge of basketball operations.

It remains to be seen which coach the Wizards are most interested in going forward with leading into next season. However, Dawkins expressed patience in the parameters of their coaching search.

Rebuilding a team from the ground is never easy. Winger and Dawkins have made it evident that the people they choose to join or remain in the Wizards building will be those interested in the long haul of constructing a perennial contender.

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