Flip Saunders Reportedly Agrees to Coach Wizards
After much discussion, rumor mongering and ballyhoo, Yahoo! Sports reports that the Washington Wizards will make former Pistons and Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders their new head coach, reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $18 million deal.
That's not Yankees money or corporate bailout money, but for the Wizards, that's a pretty hefty chunk of change.
There's been a lot of discussion in the last day about Saunders and if he's the right fit for this club. Michael Wilbon doesn't think so, preferring the high-pitched stylings of Avery Johnson. Others are actually quite pleased with the hire and some think it's just a good fit.
The fact is, it's a coaching hire. So half the people are going to be excited and positive and thankful the Wizards didn't hire a college coach. And half the people are going to point to the fact that Saunders has never taken a team to the NBA Finals and decide he can't handle the locker room personalities. You can pick either side, but I would caution you this. If Doc Rivers can go from being a joke that can't manage a rotation to a coach of the year candidate for the NBA champions, odds are this coaching thing is a bit more complicated and more difficult to predict than we think it is.
Sure, Saunders could have trouble managing Gilbert Arenas' ego, balancing time for JaVale McGee, getting Caron Butler to take that next step, and finding some way to nag and pull a 3-point shooter out of the roster. Or he could take a mediocre offensive team to the top of the NBA's efficiency ranks and possibly get something close to what this team seems capable of.
The Wizards went with the experienced guy here and there are worse ways they could have gone with this hire. Who knows, maybe this combination of coach and team will provide the punch Washington has been looking for for the better part of the last three decades.