Wizards Hire Flip Saunders: 4 Years, $18 Million

brandon LamCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MAY 24:  Head coach Flip Saunders of the Detroit Pistons watches the action against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2008 at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  The Celtics won 94-80.  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)

According to Yahoo sports, the Washington Wizards have hired Flip Saunders, former coach for Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, for four years, worth $18 million. 

The two parties have been in discussions since the All-Star break, according to multiple sources. Saunders is expected to bring along long time player Sam Cassell as an assistant along with Randy Whitman.

Saunders spent more than nine years with Minnesota, guiding the club to eight consecutive playoff appearances and a franchise-best 58-24 record in 2003-04, the top record in the Western Conference. During his tenure, Saunders won NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month honors four times (Apr. '04, Feb. '03, Jan. '01, and Jan. '00).

Saunders has an outstanding overall record as a head coach at 587-396.

So, you’re probably wondering why he does not have a head coaching job.

The reason is, Saunders has been unsuccessful in the NBA playoffs with a record of 47-51, but regardless of that he is still capable of getting the job done.

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This summer in training camp the Wizards had some guest speakers and coaches to appear. Saunders was invited by Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld to speak to the team and help out with drills.

With Caron Butler, 29, Gilbert Arenas, 27, and Antwan Jamison, 32, the Wizards needed a veteran coach who has had success in the league. Saunders is that guy.