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The Washington Wizards Head Coach Should Be…

Jordan Poole is wondering who the next Wizards head coach will be

The Washington Wizards (15-67) infamous 2023-2024 season reached its conclusion, as the franchise suffered its worst season in franchise history record-wise. Additionally, the Wizards fired former head coach Wes Unseld Jr. back in January and named assistant head coach Brian Keefe as the interim coach for the rest of the season. As the Wizards continue its rebuilding phase and search for a new head coach, the front office should look no further and should officially name Keefe as its lead man.

Brian Keefe Should Be Washington Wizards Official Head Coach

Why Brian Keefe Should Be The Wizards Official Head Coach

Keefe took over the reins in Washington and finished with an 8-31 record as interim head coach. The Wizards prior to Keefe taking over under Unseld Jr had a record of 7-36 and was trending downhill fast. Washington consistently ranked in the bottom of the league in rebounds and defensive efficiency, which are both ingredients to a poor campaign. The hope when Keefe took over in the season was to change the team’s dynamic and overall approach. Keefe is accredited for his prowess as a player developmental coach, and the Wizards have a slew of young talent on its roster such as Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, Bilal Coulibaly, and Tristan Vukcevic. Keefe remaining as head coach makes the most sense.

Additionally, the Wizards are in the middle of a rebuild and it’s likely no other coach wants to be in that situation. The Washington franchise only made the postseason one time (2020-21) in the last six years and recently underwent its worst campaign in franchise history. There are a plethora of respected coaches on the market such as Terry Stotts, Adrian Griffin, and Nate McMillan just to name a few. However, with the state of the franchise and without a de facto player the team can build around, the future for the Wizards is unknown going forward.

The Wizards Stars

The Wizards severely need talent for each position and it’s guaranteed it will get a top-5 draft pick in the upcoming NBA draft in June. Washington’s guard depth features Poole, Tyus Jones, and Coulibaly. Poole had an underwhelming season, to say the least, on both sides of the ball. In 2023, Poole had a +/- of -552, respectively. The former Golden State Warrior’s starting spot is far from secure next season. Jones is currently on an expiring contract and was solid for Washington, but should the Wizards bring Jones back in 2024? The former Duke star is an undersized guard and struggles to stay in front of bigger guards. As for Coulibaly, the 2023 first-round pick showed promise throughout his rookie season. Coulibaly proved to be a solid perimeter defender that can give athletic wings headaches and force them into difficult shot attempts.

Washington forwards Kyle Kuzma, Avdija, and Kispert round out the 3 position, and each one of them were bright spots for different reasons. Kuzma is arguably Washington’s best player by having led the unit in points per game (22.2) and minutes per game (32.6). The former Lakers forward was in heavy trade talks around the trade deadline, but Kuzma vocalized his desire to stay in Washington on social media. However, Kuzma as a trade asset would benefit Washington immensely. Kuzma would be a solid contributor on a contending team that perhaps needs another solid scorer to help them get over the hump. As for Avdija, this season proved to be his breakout campaign. Avdija averaged career-highs in points (14.7), rebounds (7.2), and field goal percentage (50.6), respectively. Additionally, the Wizards already extended Avdija back in October, so it’s evident Avdija is a part of this team’s future.

The Rest of the Wizards

Kispert is another player who improved drastically while having come off the bench. Kispert’s overall attitude and confidence as a playmaker and scorer is evident. The former 2021 first-round pick should be one of the cornerstone pieces in D.C. next season and beyond.

As for the frontcourt, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes, and Anthony Gill are the prominent players in that position. Bagley III showed flashes of being a solid contributor for Washington due to his ability to rebound and put the ball on the floor on offense. Unfortunately, Bagley III’s health is a major detriment to his quest to live up to this second-overall pick status. The former Duke center played in only 24 out of the Wizards’ final 43 games since being acquired via trade in January. Gill and Holmes have both shown glimpses of satisfactory front-court performances for Washington. Gill, 31, is currently an unrestricted free agent, and Holmes, 30, will be after next season. How does the front office handle the veteran big men?

The Last Word

Washington general manager Will Dawkins and president Michael Winger have important decisions to make as the offseason begins and the draft approaches. Winger and Dawkins will have to discuss about who they should keep and build around as the rebuild continues. Should the Wizards draft a point guard and/or resign Jones? Should Washington retain Gill? Those are just a few of the many questions that need answers during the offseason.

Regardless, Keefe is the clear answer to be the official Wizards head coach. Why should Washington bring in an established and perhaps a championship-winning coach to a team that is nowhere near ready talent-wise?

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