Report: Randy Wittman near two-year deal to coach Wizards

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We’ve been telling you that it looked like the Wizards were leaning toward keeping Randy Wittman as coach.

Now Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo came through with a few details.

The Washington Wizards are finalizing details on a two-year contract for interim coach Randy Wittman to become head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. An announcement is planned for next week, sources said.

As we have said, this is a safe hire by Washington. Wittman was 18-31 as the interim coach in Washington, which included a six-game winning streak to end the season. He took over 17 games into the season after Flip Saunders got the ax. Wittman had a pedestrian record as the head man in Washington and Cleveland before this. Wittman no doubt connected with and got more out of the roster than Flip, he helped usher in a little more discipline to a young team, but the Wizards were not good either way.

Woj adds this note about the Wizards looking at the bottom line.

The Wizards won’t make a significant financial commitment to Wittman, sources said, and that’s a trend that more franchises are expected to continue. After the NBA lockout, many owners are determined to pay front-office and coaching staffs less money. The Wizards are a big-market team that could’ve successfully competed for higher-profile head coaches available, including Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan and Stan Van Gundy, but chose to keep Wittman on a shorter, less expensive contract.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.

Trey Lyles dunks on Jayson Tatum then disrespects him far worse (video)

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Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.

On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.