By HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — After ups and downs during nearly a decade with the Washington Wizards, Ernie Grunfeld is getting more time to run the franchise.
Grunfeld and the Wizards have agreed to a contract that will keep him as team president, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday night on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.
A news conference could happen as soon as Tuesday.
Grunfeld's return was first reported by The Washington Post on its website.
His contract had been due to expire at the end of this season. The Wizards beat NBA-worst Charlotte 101-73 Monday night for their fourth consecutive victory, but they are 18-46, the league's second-worst record.
Grunfeld joined the Wizards in June 2003, and with Gilbert Arenas leading the way, the team made a run of four consecutive playoff appearances. But a roster that once was built around All-Stars Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler — Grunfeld acquired all three, and eventually signed Arenas to a contract worth more than $100 million — was dismantled in the aftermath of a locker-room gun episode that landed Arenas in legal trouble.
During his tenure, Grunfeld fired coaches Eddie Jordan and Flip Saunders, who was let go during the current season and replaced on an interim basis by Randy Wittman.
Saunders went 51-130 with Washington.
The Wizards recently pretty much started over yet again, constructing a team around point guard John Wall, who Grunfeld chose with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Grunfeld added Brazilian big man Nene in a trade-deadline deal in March, shipping away talented-but-slow-to-mature young players JaVale McGee and Nick Young.
Before arriving in Washington, Grunfeld spent four seasons as general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to that, he ran the New York Knicks.
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