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Wizards give general manager Ernie Grunfeld secret contract extension

May 6, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT

Ernie Grunfeld Ernie Grunfeld

From top down – all the way from owner Ted Leonsis to John Wall’s shoes – the Wizards were focused on making the playoffs this season.

It wasn’t just a goal. It was an organizational mandate. Jobs were on the line.

A job at least.

Coach Randy Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld were believed to be in the final year of their contracts, a postseason berth likely to swing whether they would stay or go. But, without announcement, the Wizards apparently gave Grunfeld an extension on the contract that was set to expire this summer.

Mike Wise of The Washington Post on Grunfeld:

Oh, and who knew he had another year left on his deal after this season that no one knew about until now (That’s right, a little news for you.)

By getting the Wizards to the playoff, Grunfeld probably earned more time on the job. By assembling a team that reached the second round – and maybe even the conference finals – he probably deserved it.

But this is not how to build trust with fans.

Grunfeld, who has made plenty of blunders since taking over in 2003, had lost Wizards fans. He got some back with the team’s success this season, but plenty of fans remain ready to move on. Little did they know, that’s not even an option.

And where is Wittman’s trust level? Did he know about the extension, or was he under the presumption – like the rest of us – he and Grunfeld were facing this make-or-break year together?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with extending Grunfeld, but if the Wizards were so proud of their general manager that they wanted to keep him, they should have announced it.

  1. thekingdave - May 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Bad move on both counts. These are hurdles they should have hit a couple seasons ago in the East.

    • spthegr8 - May 6, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      @KingDave
      You are correct. All Ernie is trying to do is fix his own mistakes. He has made more bad decisions, than he has good. He is a Big part of why they have been so bad for so long.

      • theebadguy - May 6, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Dude, they are about to be in the conference finals. Please think before you answer

  2. calvinisthobbesian - May 6, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    King Dave and spthegr8; Amen to both of you. Ernie is the personification of the old adage that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while. If I were going to keep him, he’d be working on one year contracts for a while. One decent year does not make up for the many years of failure attributable in large part to his inability to make good decisions about personnel.

  3. shanelsweet - May 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    EG has built some5hing special with the Wizards. Folks on here know that I’m not late jumping on the Wia bandwagon. He’s made some really nice move to blow the Wiz up post Arenas and start over with Wall and character teammates. There’s nothing not to like about Wiz!

  4. saint1997 - May 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Wonder what the next step is for the Wiz. Do they re-sign Gortat and Ariza and move forward with the same group or make a run at guys like Deng or Monroe?

    • tomtravis76 - May 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Gortat should be inked for the right price that won’t hinder the next few seasons of team growth.Ariza would be nice to bring back, but he is only taking away minutes and much needed development from the highly drafted Otto Porter.

      • theebadguy - May 6, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        Porter stinks though. Wouldn’t count on him

  5. baywatchboy - May 6, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    He’s spent the last three years cleaning up the mess from the previous five years. This team has done it right over the last few years by trading away numbskulls and bringing in quality players. I’m not saying Ernie is the best GM (far from it), but over the last few years, he certainly hasn’t been the worst.

    Time will tell the tale. If Ariza leaves and Porter doesn’t develop, that will hurt, but let’ wait and see and enjoy the ride they’re on right now.

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