- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Washington Wizards announced Monday they picked up coach Eddie Jordan’s contract option, keeping the D.C. native under contract through the 2009-10 season.

Jordan, who enters his sixth season at the helm of the Wizards, signed a three-year extension in the summer of 2006. The deal, worth approximately $12.5 million, had a team option for a fourth season, which was exercised by owner Abe Pollin and team president Ernie Grunfeld.

“Eddie has done an outstanding job and has been instrumental in making us a perennial playoff team, so we are pleased to reward that success by picking up the option on his contract,” Grunfeld said in a statement released by the team. “We are very excited about the upcoming season and feel that this team is ready to progress to another level under Eddie’s leadership.”

Earlier this summer, the Wizards extended Jordan’s assistants through this season and according to team sources had planned for some time to pick up the option on Jordan’s contract.

“I’d like to thank Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld, my assistants and the players for their confidence in me and for putting the pieces in place for us to continue to build on what we’ve already accomplished,” Jordan said in a statement.

The news of Jordan’s extension came five days after Gilbert Arenas had his third knee surgery in the last 17 months. And the announcement came a little more than an hour after the team announced the signings of three free agent forwards to the Wizards’ training camp roster.

DerMarr Johnson, Linton Johnson and Taj McCullough will join the team for training camp, which begins Saturday in Richmond. The signings come as the Wizards seek to address a lack of depth at small forward.

Last season, All-Star forward Caron Butler averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.2 steals but missed 24 games because of injury. Without a proven small forward to fill in for Butler, the Wizards struggled.

Fourth-year forward/center Andray Blatche filled in for Butler, but starting the 6-foot-11 Blatche at small forward left the Wizards short-handed at center behind Brendan Haywood.

Second-year forward Dominic McGuire had a strong summer league performance, averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. The team likes the improvement he has shown, but it still brought in Johnson and Linton to provide some insurance.

Johnson, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound seven-year veteran, has spent time with Atlanta, New York, Denver and San Antonio.

The 6-8, 205-pound Linton Johnson has played in 141 games in six years during stops in Chicago, San Antonio, New Jersey, New Orleans, Toronto and Phoenix.

McCullough - a rookie from the Wizards’ summer league squad - also will get a chance to showcase his skills while team officials continue to monitor McGuire’s growth.