Ernie Grunfeld Rumors
Contacted early Sunday, agent Mark Bartelstein said actual negotiations with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will go forward as early as this upcoming week. “We had to get past that first nine or 10 days of free agency. With that chaotic period over, Ernie and I will talk and see where we are,” Bartelstein told CSN.
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guards Vander Blue, Xavier Silas and David Stockton, forwards Rasual Butler and Damion James and center Daniel Orton. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not released. Blue (6-4, 200) went undrafted in 2013. The Marquette alum signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics on January 22, 2014 and appeared in three games, scoring a total of five points in a combined 15 minutes. While on assignment with the Delaware 87ers of the D-League last season, he appeared in four games and averaged 19.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.5 minutes.
“We are pleased with the progress the team has made on the court and with the culture we have been able to build with Randy as our head coach,” said Grunfeld. “We will look to continue that momentum with him deservedly leading this group of dedicated and hard-working players.”
Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld – After saving Ted Leonsis almost $100 million during a reputation-swallowing rebuild, the ErnDog showed he stills knows how to build a contender. No other GM observes Earth Day like Ernie, who is able to recycle trash into Trevor Ariza. Getting Marcin Gortat for Emeka Okafor before the season . . . brilliant. Andre Miller as a rent-a-vet? Solid. 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.)
Leonsis declined to comment on the futures of Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about people’s contracts when you’re in the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “What I’ve said all along, and what I’ll say is, I only can worry about what I’m dealing with on a one-to-one basis with management. When we bought the Wizards not even four years ago, I made the assessment that there was less risk in blowing the team up and starting from scratch than there was in trying to build around it. “We had lots of conversations with Ernie and Ernie was very, very straightforward with me, which was, ‘Well, I can guarantee you that you’re going to be really, really bad.’ We played five rookies the first year that we owned the team. We had five starting players who were rookies. We weren’t trying to tank; we just had so many first-year players. … Everyone in the organization has done a good job, but it starts with the players, and then the coach.”
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard Glen Rice has been recalled from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. Rice will be with the team for tonight’s game vs. Chicago. In two separate assignments with the Energy, Rice has appeared in 19 games while averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 28 minutes per game.
The Wizards had lofty expectations for returning to the playoffs this season, and given how bad the East is, it’s too early to discount them in that endeavor. But with a 4-7 record, the results have been mixed so far, to put it kindly. League sources wonder how long GM Ernie Grunfeld can remain in self-preservation mode. Speaking of self-preservation, continued struggles in Washington would put coach Randy Wittman in a race with the coach of our next team in the Misery Index to see who will be the first coach to be fired this season.