HoopsHype Ernie Grunfeld rumors

April 24, 2012 Updates

If the mandate from the boss was to go young, collect draft picks like baseball cards, save money for a sunny day and not worry about competing for a playoff spot in the foreseeable future — be real bad before good, in essence — then Ernie Grunfeld has done his job and deserves to return as the team president of the Washington Wizards. Before we get to the news, the fed-up and furious are allowed to vent. Take five seconds, in fact. Moan at the moon about Ernie. Call for the architect of the worst four-year, won-loss stretch in Wizards franchise history to be banished forever by the owner, whom some might call too patient Ted. Washington Post

April 23, 2012 Updates
April 13, 2012 Updates

One prominent agent said the Wizards job would be highly sought after if it became available and that there is “no way” Leonsis can bring back Grunfeld. “Look, it’s a tough job,” the agent said. “But he’s had his shot.” Despite the rumblings, Grunfeld remains confident about the direction of the organization and has not let the speculation about his future affect him. “I’ve been in this business a long time,” said Grunfeld, whose current team will face his former team Friday at Madison Square Garden. “This has been a challenge, and we knew it was going to be a challenge when we got into it. I’m just working as hard as I can, to do the best job that I can. “Those things will take care of themselves in the future as we move along.” Washington Post

Despite the rumblings, Grunfeld remains confident about the direction of the organization and has not let the speculation about his future affect him. “I’ve been in this business a long time,” said Grunfeld, whose current team will face his former team Friday at Madison Square Garden. “This has been a challenge, and we knew it was going to be a challenge when we got into it. I’m just working as hard as I can, to do best job that I can. Those things will take care of themselves in the future as we move along.” Washington Post

March 23, 2012 Updates

Sources within the Wizards organization have denied a published report that President Ernie Grunfeld recently rejected owner Ted Leonsis’s three-year, $4.5 million proposal to stay with the franchise. Grunfeld’s contract is set to expire after this season, but team sources said he has not been offered an extension and another person with knowledge of the situation said the New York Post report was “made up.” Washington Post

When asked about his contract situation at the end of last season, Grunfeld said, “I’m under contract. I’m not really even thinking about that at all ... All I’m thinking about is making this team as good as possible and continue to do the plan that we have in place.” Grunfeld has been one of the league’s highest-paid general managers for the past five years, with league sources contending that he earns a salary between $3.5 million and $4.5 million. The salaries for general managers and coaches have dipped considerably in recent years, with teams seeking different ways to cut down costs. Washington Post

The latter is looming. I’m informed the former Knicks president recently turned down a three-year, $4.5 million extension proposed by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. Most in sports management would kill a mockingbird to pull such power attached to that purse string. Then again, most people haven’t pocketed $4.5 million annually as Grunfeld has over half a decade. New York Post

March 21, 2012 Updates

Wizards officials say Grunfeld deserves praise for making a trade that strengthened the team. He got something for McGee, a restricted free agent after the season, and Young, who will be unrestricted, and initiated a needed culture change by removing blockheads from their program. Washington Post

March 16, 2012 Updates

President Ernie Grunfeld completed a three-team trade with Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers that yielded Nene, Brian Cook and a second round in 2015. But before they embraced the change, the Wizards players were feeling a little sentimental after losing three teammates and friends at the trade deadline. “I’m going to miss them. They are my teammates, they are my friends. I grew up with them,” Blatche said of Young and McGee, who had spent their entire careers playing with Blatche. “We’re going to stay in contact. It’s just the business. It’s not my first time something like this happened. Makes it more easy for me to adjust.” Washington Post

February 4, 2012 Updates

Washington fired coach Flip Saunders, replaced him with interim coach Randy Wittman and immediately shifted into youth mode. But that doesn't mean all is calm on Sixth Street. Rumblings persist in NBA front-office circles about the anticipated ouster of general manager Ernie Grunfeld. But sources continue to maintain Grunfeld and his front-office staff remain in constant communication with owner Ted Leonsis and that Leonsis has an open mind about his GM's efforts to dig the franchise out of the Gilbert Arenas gun fiasco. CBSSports.com

It hasn't helped that first-round pick Jan Vesely has managed to score only four points on 2-for-8 shooting from the field with only one free throw attempt over three starts covering 57 minutes of floor time. It's too soon to draw sweeping conclusions about a 21-year-old who didn't play in college, but the development of Vesely and other recent first-round picks Chris Singleton, Nick Young and JaVale McGee bears watching as it could have a direct bearing on Grunfeld's future. CBSSports.com

As of now, there have been zero indications from Leonsis that he's anything but on board with the plan that has been in place since the roster was torn down in the wake of the Arenas incident. Also, team officials believe the franchise is in a good place with cap room and young assets to be in position to make a significant move when the time is right -- all part of a strategy Leonsis has spearheaded. CBSSports.com

February 1, 2012 Updates

But President Ernie Grunfeld said he has no plans to abandon the long-term strategy of building through the draft and developing unseasoned talent. Dismissing Saunders less than two years after Grunfeld decided to dismantle the team he hired Saunders to coach altered the captain, but not the course. “I think we’ve been pretty transparent,” Grunfeld said in a telephone interview. “We all knew it was going to be a process. Obviously, everyone would like to be a championship contender every year. But we’re in a different position and a different situation and we came up with a game plan and we’re going to follow through on that game plan.” Washington Post

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