Flip Saunders Fired: Why Washington Wizards Must Replace Him with Sam Cassell

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 11:  Head coach Flip Saunders of the Washington Wizards gives instructions to his team takes on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Wizards 78-64. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Flip Saunders became the NBA's second coaching causality Tuesday morning when he was fired by the 2-15 Washington Wizards.

That was inevitable. Saunders had no chance to keep his job in Washington.

The 2-15 start to the season, parlayed with the regression of last season's No.1 overall pick John Wall, pretty much left the writing on the wall for Saunders.

Wall is averaging nearly a full assist less than the 8.3 per game he averaged in his rookie year. His field-goal percentage has also declined from .409 in 2010-11 to .379 this season.

Then there is the fact that in last night's loss to Philadelphia, the Wizards showed next to no effort at all, often walking down the court for offensive possessions and failing to hustle after loose balls.

For Washington, parting ways with Saunders is really no big deal, but who they replace him with is.

Assistant coach Randy Wittman will take over as coach of the team, but the wrong assistant coach is getting the job.

That opportunity should go to Sam Cassell on an interim basis.

Wittman isn't the answer. He's had his chances in the past as a head coach.

He's been a head coach for more than four seasons. After two years in Cleveland and three in Minnesota, he posted a record of 100-207. In his last stint with Minnesota, he was fired after the Timberwolves started the 2008-09 season 4-15.

He won't do anything with this Wizards team either.

Washington does have some young talent and turning the keys of the car over to Cassell might make more sense.

Even though he has no head coaching experience, he may be able to get more out of Wall and the rest of the Wizards young talent.

A former point guard himself, Cassell could develop a good relationship with Wall; One a head coach and point guard should have.

This team isn't going anywhere this season anyway, so there shouldn't be any harm in giving Cassell a chance.

Turning to Wittman is just another in a long list of bad decisions from the Washington Wizards.