Report: Nuggets' Wes Unseld Jr. 'Emerging as the Leader' in Wizards Head Coach Search

Adam WellsJuly 15, 2021

Denver Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld, Jr. calls out from the bench after taking over head coaching duties, following the ejection of head coach Michael Malone, in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. the Nuggets won 113-106. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

It appears as if the Washington Wizards' search for a new head coach is nearing an end. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Denver Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr. is "emerging as the leader" for Washington. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Unseld and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham were considered the front-runners for Washington, with Bucks assistant Charles Lee also in the mix. 

Unseld's ties to the Washington franchise go back long before he got into coaching. His father, Wes Unseld, spent his entire 13-year playing career with the organization from 1968-81. 

After Unseld retired, he worked as an assistant under Kevin Loughery starting in 1987. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer took over as head coach midway through the 1987-88 season, remained in the job for seven years before resigning. 

Unseld also spent seven seasons as Washington's general manager from 1996-2003. 

A Maryland native, Wes Unseld Jr. began his coaching career with the Wizards as an assistant in 2005-06 under Eddie Jordan. He remained with the organization through the 2010-11 season when Flip Saunders was head coach. 

After leaving the Wizards, Unseld has spent time on the coaching staff for the Golden State Warriors (2011-12) and Orlando Magic (2012-15) before landing his current job with the Nuggets. 

Washington has been searching for a new head coach since it was announced in June that Scott Brooks wouldn't be returning for a sixth season. The Wizards went 183-207 with three playoff appearances under Brooks.