Jamahl Mosley, Darvin Ham, Wes Unseld Jr. among finalists for Wizards’ coaching vacancy, per report

The Washington Wizards are moving closer to naming their next head coach. The team’s search has narrowed to a handful of assistant coaches from around the NBA‘s landscape, including Dallas’ Jamahl Mosley, Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham and Charles Lee and Denver’s Wes Unseld, Jr., according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Those candidates are all expected to talk with the Wizards again in the coming week. 

Clearly, the Wizards aren’t against the idea of hiring a first-time head coach, as none of the candidates mentioned have head coaching experience at the NBA level.  Mosley and Unseld Jr. are also candidates in the Orlando Magic‘s search for a new coach, per Wojnarowski. 

The Wizards are looking for a new coach after parting ways with Scott Brooks last month. In Brooks’ five seasons with the Wizards, he finished with a 183-207 regular-season record and made the postseason three times. Washington lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the first round this past season. Injuries over the years to star players like John Wall, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook have greatly impacted Washington’s ability to remain competitive consistently, but the Wizards clearly felt that it was time to bring in a new voice for a team that will try to get back to the postseason next year.

Whoever takes the Wizards’ job will be under some immediate pressure, as the team, led by Beal and Westbrook, is clearly in win-now mode. Brooks was unable to lead the Wizards on a deep playoff run, and the next coach will be expected to do just that. There will also be some pressure to keep Beal happy, as the star guard is entering the final guaranteed year of a two-year contract extension he signed in 2019. That means that Beal could opt out of his contract in favor of free agency next offseason. Keeping Beal in a Wizards uniform for the long-term will obviously be a priority for the franchise, regardless of who they ultimately select as coach. 

The Wizards are one of three teams left still searching for a new head coach, along with the Magic and Pelicans

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