For the first time in many years, the Wizards/Bullets will not have someone named Wes Unseld working for the organization. Longtime assistant Wes Unseld Jr., son of the Bullets legend, is expected to leave the franchise to become an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, according to multiple sources.
Unseld Jr., has been with the organization since he graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1997. He worked his way up from advance scout and later he joined former coach Eddie Jordan’s staff as an assistant. Ed Tapscott retained Unseld Jr. when Jordan was dismissed and Coach Flip Saunders also kept him when he took over in the summer of 2009.
Unseld Sr. played his entire Hall of Fame career for the Bullets from 1968-81, returned to coach the team from 1987-94 and took over as general manger in 1996 before stepping down in 2003.
After his contract with the Wizards expired on June 30, Unseld Jr. also interviewed with the Los Angeles Lakers but is expected to join new Golden State Coach Mark Jackson. The Wizards have offered Unseld Jr. an opportunity to return to the team, but were unable to promote him to the bench, according to a league source. He is expected to receive a promotion with the Warriors — the team that swept his father’s Bullets in the 1975 NBA Finals.
Coaches are allowed to have three coaches seated on the front row, and those positions are currently occupied by Randy Wittman, Sam Cassell and Don Zierden in Washington. When Saunders signed his four-year, $18 million deal two years ago, his assistants were only given two-year deals. Mike Wells, a former assistant in Houston and San Antonio before coming to Washington, left the NBA altogether in May to join Paul Hewitt’s staff at George Mason.
According to a league source, the Wizards have offered or intend to offer contracts to the remaining members of Saunders’s staff --Wittman, Cassell, Zierden, Ryan Saunders and Gene Banks. The move for Unseld Jr. was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.