East Rumors: Wizards, Pistons, Raptors, Coaching Searches


Former Georgetown University coach and current Wizards executive John Thompson III is leading the Wizards’ search for a new GM, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The Wizards do not intend a hire an outside firm to assist, Fischer added. They do, however, plan to hire someone from outside the organization as the new head of basketball operations, team owner Ted Leonsis has said.

The Wizards are looking to replace Tommy Sheppard, fired after the season. Timberwolves GM Tim Connelly, a Baltimore native, has already shot down the idea of being a candidate for the job, as we relayed here.

Regardless of who is hired as next GM, the job of coach Wes Unseld Jr. is said to be safe.


As reported by several other outlets, former UConn coach Kevin Ollie, Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins and Bucks assistant Charles Lee seem to be the three frontrunners in the Pistons’ coaching search, Fischer relayed.

Ollie spent time as a player with the Thunder when current Pistons head of basketball operations Troy Weaver worked in the front office there.

Ollie most recently spent time as head coaching director with Overtime Elite, but stepped down after the season.

The Pistons may go the assistant route, but things could change with the availability of former Raptors coach Nick Nurse and perhaps even Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who took the job with the Rockets, was never a serious candidate in Detroit, per Fischer.


The Raptors’ thorough coaching search could extend past the NBA Combine in mid-May, per Fischer.

Current Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin reportedly is considered a strong candidate. Last time the Raptors made a coaching change, in 2018, they simply replaced Dwane Casey with then-assistant Nick Nurse. They could do the same again with Griffin.

Other candidates, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: Lee, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Suns assistant Kevin Young, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic, and Heat assistant Chris Quinn, who also interviewed for the Pistons job.

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