Next Washington Wizards Head Coach Odds; Wes Unseld Jr.’s Replacement

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Just two days after the surprising firing of former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin, a not-so-surprising pink slip was handed out in the Nation's Capital Thursday morning. 

After two-plus years at the helm, the Washington Wizards have fired Wes Unseld, Jr. from his head coaching duties, and he will move upstairs into a front office advisory role. An interim coach is expected to be announced later today as the Wizards (7-36) will host the Utah Jazz (22-23) at 7 p.m. 

Unseld Jr. compiled a 77-130 record over 2 1/2 seasons since taking over in July 2021 and Wednesday marked his final game at the helm in a 118-107 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wizards have lost five straight and 11 of their last 12 games heading into tonight's contest with the Jazz. Currently, Washington is on its fourth losing streak of at least five games this season, a notable streak at Virginia sportsbooks.

Washington has not had an above .500 record since the 2017-18 season and currently is building around a young core of players that includes power forward Kyle Kuzma, shooting guard Jordan Poole, forward-center Marvin Bagley III, strong forward Deni Avdija and center Daniel Gafford. In Wednesday’s loss, Avdija scored a team-high and season-best 24 points, Bagley added 17 points with 15 rebounds, and Kuzma posted 17 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. 

Where do the Wizards go from here? BetVirginia.com has some ideas and have come up with probable choices below.

Next Wizards Coach Odds

Coach Odds Pct. Chance
Brian Keefe, Wizards Assistant +500 16.7%
Sam Cassell, Celtics Assistant +700 12.5%
Kenny Atkinson, Warriors Assistant +90010%
Mike Budenholzer, Former Bucks Coach +1200 7.7%
James Borrego, Pelicans Assistant +12007.7%
David Vanterpool, Wizards Assistant +15006.2%
David Adelman, Nuggets Assistant +15006.2%
Adrian Griffin, Former Bucks Coach +1750 5.4%
The Field +200 33.3%

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Keefe The Current Front-Runner For Next Wizards Coach

Three assistant coaches head up the list with the more immediate and likely choice to fill the interim role: current Wizards assistant Brian Keefe at +500 (16.7% chance). Boston Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell is the second choice at +700 (12.5%), with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson third at +900 (10%). 

Two former head coaches in the league round out the top five with former Milwaukee Bucks and NBA champion coach Mike Budenholzer and former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego both tied for fourth at +1200 (7.7%). Borrego is currently an associate head coach with the Pelicans.

Rounding out the list: Wizards assistant coach David Vanterpool and Denver Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman are both tied at +1500 (6.2%), with Griffin at +1750 (5.4%). Other candidates not on the list: +200 (33.3%). 

Patience is a virtue and whoever takes over has to show that, and in the process, win some games. Let's hope Wizards fans find some hope for their team and help push through some wins on your VA sportsbook promos in the new year.

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Author

Lou Monaco
Reporter/journalist

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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