John Wall: "I wouldn't have a problem having the whole coaching staff back."— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 16, 2014
The point guard's opinion should carry some weight. The 23-year-old is already considered the face of the franchise and is locked up under contract until 2019. Though he had an uneven series against the Pacers, the organization understands that its fate to some degree hinges on keeping Wall happy.
Head coach Randy Wittman is coming off his first trip to the postseason, a trip that has to be considered successful by any reasonable metric. He's been joined by assistants Don Newman, Don Zierden, Sam Cassell, Ryan Saunders, Joe Connelly and Pat Sullivan.
Wittman's leadership certainly earned the approval of The Washington Post's Mike Wise:
But after Tuesday night, it’s time to get over reservations about Wittman. Like the misgivings about Wall, it’s time to take the good with the bad and realize that Wittman is the right coach for this team going forward.
I don’t know if Wittman is the coach who will lead Washington to an NBA championship. I don’t know if he can draw up the perfect play with five seconds left or summon the right halftime adjustment in a Game 7 to get his team to the next round.
I don’t even know if he is the perfect coach to ensure the development of Wall and Beal into perennial all-stars and title contenders.
I do know he has earned the right to see if he can become that coach with this team.
Wittman joined the organization as an assistant in 2009. He became head coach in 2012. Since then, the Wizards have steadily developed into the formidable playoff team we see today. They aren't contenders yet, but they've come a long way.
Wall's sentiments were echoed by teammate Andre Miller, a guy who knows a thing or two about coaches around this league, per The Washington Times' Brian McNally: "I talked to one of the other assistant coaches and I told them this is probably - out of all my 15 years I’ve probably had maybe 15 to 16 coaches - the best I’ve been prepared going into games, going into playoffs."
Wittman's contract expires this summer, so the team will have to make a decision one way or the other. It could certainly opt to pursue one of the higher-profile coaches on the market, but there's also something to be said for maintaining continuity after such a promising playoff run.
A shake-up might send the wrong message, and of course, it would force the Wizards to start from scratch in certain respects. Wittman is a known commodity, and he's proved he can get his club this far. Another crack at it might yield even better dividends down the road.