- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Washington Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld likes change when change is necessary but not just for change’s sake.

He has made big moves in each of his three offseasons, from signing Gilbert Arenas, to trading for Antawn Jamison to trading Kwame Brown for Caron Butler.

However, Grunfeld said yesterday at the Wizards’ end-of-season press conference at Verizon Center that this offseason might not be as active.

“We had a lot of new pieces this year and I believe in continuity,” he said. “I believe in consistency and that you can’t make wholesale changes every year and expect to have that good chemistry. Chemistry is a very important part of winning and I think we have chemistry. I think our players understand what is expected of them.”

The Wizards, who will exceed the new salary cap when it is announced, will have 12 players under contract. But the biggest question mark concerning the roster is whether they will match contract offers made to restricted free agent Jared Jeffries, a versatile starter who will draw some attention.

While Jeffries’ contract with the team is up, coach Eddie Jordan has one year left on his deal. But as a policy, Grunfeld never discusses contracts publicly.

After complimenting the job Jordan has done the past three seasons — the Wizards have reached the playoffs the last two seasons — Grunfeld said in the offseason he and team owner Abe Pollin and Jordan’s representative, Lonnie Cooper, will discuss the coach’s future.

“I think Eddie has done a terrific job here,” said Grunfeld, who was hired days after Jordan in the summer of 2003. “We went to the playoffs two years, the players have improved and they have fought hard every night. I think he has done a very good job with us.

“We’ll have internal discussions about that. We’ll have discussions about our players and what direction we want this team to go in. There is no time frame.”

Jordan, who grew up in the District, has not publicly pushed for an extension. Earlier in the week, he remained true to form when asked about it.

“I’m a humble man. I’m glad I’m in the position I’m in now,” Jordan said. “I’m glad to have another year on my contract and I’m going to honor that. I know where I grew up and what it took to get here.”

While Grunfeld does believe the Wizards have a solid, young core of players, he did not rule out the possibility of making trades this summer. More immediately, the Wizards will prepare for the June 28 draft and focus on the continued development of young players like Andray Blatche and Donell Taylor.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide