Flip Saunders appears to be at the top of the Washington Wizards' coaching wish list, according to league sources.
While no deal has been struck, one source said the two sides have had preliminary discussions.
Approaching Saunders makes it clear that the Wizards do not plan to remove the interim tag on Ed Tapscott, their director of player development who coached the team for most of the season. Tapscott replaced the incumbent, Eddie Jordan, three weeks into this season after an injury-plagued 1-10 start.
Jordan, 54, helped the Wizards reach the playoffs in four of his five full seasons as coach but made it out of the first round only once.
Both Saunders and Jordan are expected to be part of this offseason coaching carousel. Jordan, several league sources say, is now a candidate to succeed Sacramento Kings interim coach Kenny Natt, who stepped in for Reggie Theus on Dec. 16 after a 6-18 start. Coincidentally, both Jordan and Theus were fired this season after disappointing losses to the New York Knicks.