Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has repeatedly extended the contract of team president Ernie Grunfeld – who was already running the front office for seven years when Leonsis bought the team eight years ago – without announcement.
So, it’s a slightly different tune when Leonsis praises Grunfeld publicly. And there’s nothing hedged in this commendation.
Leonsis, in fact, said he would give team president Ernie Grunfeld and his team an A-grade for their summer so far.
“I thought what Ernie did this offseason is exactly what we had planned,” Leonsis said. “I think when a season ends you sit down and see what you want to accomplish. For the Wizards, it was we need to have more balance and more depth and be more prepared for injuries.”
That is high praise, and Grunfeld did pretty well this year.
Dwight Howard (mid-level exception) and Jeff Green (minimum) were fine signings for a team with no realistic route to cap space. Getting Austin Rivers for Marcin Gortat was a fine trade for a team short on moveable assets. Drafting Troy Brown was fine for a team in the middle of the first round.
Just don’t forget Grunfeld’s role in Washington being fairly trapped at “pretty good.”
To be fair, many teams wish they were “pretty good.” Whether it’s appreciated is in the eye of the beholder.
If history is any indication, Leonsis will eventually show his appreciation with a contract extension for Grunfeld without saying anything this strong – or anything at all.