Make or Break Season Looming for Wizards’ Wes Unseld Jr?

While new head of basketball operations Michael Winger has offered praise for Wes Unseld Jr., this could be a “make or break” season for the third-year coach, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic.Wes Unseld Jr

Unseld has led the Wizards to a 35-47 record in each of his first two seasons. That mark may not be fantastic, but he is still respected by the players and admired around the league. Things could be a little tougher this season, given that Washington traded away shooting guard Bradley Beal (Suns) and power forward Kristaps Porzingis (Celtics).

Winger and new GM Will Dawkins did not hire Unseld, and as Robbins noted, that can tend to put a coach in a tricky situation.

“A few years back, I had a front-row seat to a similar situation when I covered the Orlando Magic,” Robbins wrote. “Frank Vogel’s first season as the Magic’s coach went poorly, with the team compiling a 29-53 record, and immediately after that season ended, general manager Rob Hennigan and assistant GM Scott Perry were fired. The team’s CEO then hired Jeff Weltman as president of basketball operations, and Weltman had no prior ties to Vogel. After Orlando went 25-57 in Vogel’s second season, Weltman fired Vogel.”

But as Robbins also eluded, every situation is different, and without question Unseld will get every opportunity to mold the team into what management believes should be a promising future.

For the record, Unseld’s contract expires at the end of the 2024-25 season. Given how the Unseld name has become synonymous with the Washington franchise, you would think he will be on the sideline for at least that long.

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