Ohm Youngmisuk: Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard says Scott Brooks' future won't be addressed today but he says that the coach navigated the team through some of the darkest times for the team with the COVID outbreak. "(His future) will be done at a later date."
That said, Brooks’ relationship with the front office remains strong. The pervasive sentiment throughout the Wizards is that people simply like working with or for him.
Brooks made no secret about his willingness to return to Washington, saying that there is "no decision" in his mind about whether he'd like to extend his stay in the nation's capital past the five years it has run thus far. "I love it here. I have gotten to know [owner Ted Leonsis] and his family and the ownership group and what I saw the first four, three and a half years was really incredible, and I don't know what the exact date was, March 10 [of last year], right after the Knicks game, when COVID suspended play. That's when I saw what really great ownership is about," Brooks said. "And I saw it firsthand, he made every decision based on our team, our employees, our people, and that's what a good organization is about. It's about nothing but the people and what I saw there I wouldn't want to move on. I love it here. I love the city. My family loves it. But like I said, it's for a later time, and we focused on the season this year, and that was more important than anything."
Michael Scotto: Russell Westbrook on the future of coach Scott Brooks: “If it was up to me, Scotty’s not going anywhere. It’s not even a question or a conversation to even be brought up. If the conversation is brought to me, I’ll definitely voice my opinion like I am now and see what happens.”
Leonsis did, though, drop a line later in his press conference that could be applied to the Wizards and their situation with Brooks. When discussing the challenges of the 2020-21 season amid a pandemic, and how the coronavirus affected the Wizards, he said this: "We start every season with every one of our teams as we have to make the playoffs. If we can make the playoffs, then you can aspire to winning a championship," Leonsis said. Brooks, 55, has the Wizards in position to make the play-in tournament, with a magic number of just one. They could clinch on Friday night with a win over the Cavs.
One source close to the situation said there was a playoff mandate of sorts for Brooks, but it’s unclear whether a play-in entry would suffice if their season ended there. There have been questions swirling about the future of general manager Tommy Sheppard as well, however, making this one even harder to handicap. Brooks, the source said, has not been told what lies ahead. Yet in terms of 11th-hour developments that help his case for a new contract, it doesn’t get much better than this. Not only is Brooks extremely well-liked within Wizards circles, with all indications that he still has Beal’s support along with the synergy with the front office, but also he has the shared history with Westbrook that simply has to be considered here.
Ava Wallace: Scott Brooks, on how the coaching staff ensures it doesn't lose its voice in the locker room at 6-17: "We do our job every night, I believe in our guys. We're gonna continue to work, we're gonna continue to get better, we're going to continue to find ways to improve our team."
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks: "We gotta be better. I don’t know. We gotta take pride in our man. Too many times we’re getting beat on offensive rebounds and turnovers."
Head coach Scott Brooks, who is in the final season of his five-year contract, looks lost trying to find effective lineups. League sources say Brooks is sitting firmly on the hot seat. New coach or not, the team also just needs to be better. Some of their returning players are struggling—Davis Bertans has apparently lost his jumper, and Thomas Bryant still can’t protect the rim (and now he’s out for a season with a torn ACL). Their new additions haven’t moved the needle, either—Robin Lopez looks roasted, and Deni Avdija is just a rookie figuring things out.
Quinton Mayo: Asked Scott Brooks about his contract: It’s no secret that I love this team. Those things will be taken care of at the right time. I’m excited to coach this team...I’m proud to be working with this organization — Ted and Tommy have given me all the pieces I need.
Brooks is an interesting candidate for replacement. He has one more year on his deal, which is pricey by non-elite coaching standards. He’s in his fourth season, and things are pretty bad. But he’s managed to stay above the fray and it seems like the players — including Bradley Beal — still like him. And the situation with his boss, Tommy Sheppard, is a little weird: Sheppard is newly in the role of front office head honcho, but Sheppard was in the front office when Brooks was hired and one assumes they have worked together a lot. So this might not quite be a “new GM, new coach” situation like we’ll see in Chicago.
There’s been next to no pressure on the franchise this year. There’s been no hint that Scott Brooks’ job is in any jeopardy. Everyone understands, big picture, that this season is about development, and finding two or three guys that can go forward with the team next season when Wall returns and Washington adds what should be a high Lottery pick.
He’ll have to give fans a vision of how he’ll fix this team that is both public and realistic. And he’ll have to decide whether it makes sense to keep Beal and build around him, or go for a total teardown, trade Beal at the height of his value around the league, and start over. (That would necessarily mean a change, ultimately, at head coach, though Scott Brooks is in no danger for next season, per multiple sources.)
Fred Katz: Leonsis on if he'll decide Scott Brooks' status before hiring a new GM/prez: "Right now, we have decided on Scott’s status. He’s the coach of the team, and Tommy (Sheppard) is doing what he was doing reporting to me." More here: pic.twitter.com/nSrFeQmH9l
Fred Katz: Leonsis asked more directly on how this affects Brooks' job status: “Right now all I’ve done is remove Ernie from the day-to-day...I’ve spent one-on-one time with Scott just to tell him I expect us to do, work hard and play hard and continue to give the fans their money’s worth" pic.twitter.com/ZjUWhZZTjF
"Brooks’ seat could get hotter if they don’t win and management thinks the team is better than it really is," said one Eastern Conference executive.
Despite the Washington Wizards falling to 1-5 following an embarrassing 32-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, head coach Scott Brooks continues to have the full support of the franchise, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Brooks has three years remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal. Washington has allowed a league-high 125 points a game after losing 136-104 to the Clippers. Dwight Howard, who has been sidelined with a buttocks injury, is expected to make his season debut this week, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and the Wizards hope he can provide them with a defensive boost.
July 31, 2021 | 3:05 am EDT Update
According to a former Western Conference executive, the Wizards highly value Caldwell-Pope but may be open to either Kuzma, Harrell or both rerouted to another team. Would that team be Sacramento?
Schroder will be competing with several other free agents at the same position, including Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball, Mike Conley, Spencer Dinwiddie and Paul (if he opts out of his final year). “He may get squeezed,” a Western Conference executive told Bleacher Report.
Here’s what Wojnarowski reported on ESPN’s morning show ‘Get Up’: “Philadelphia is still asking for a lot. Teams are not willing to be strip-mined to trade for Ben Simmons. They’re going to continue to try and find a way, to see if there’s a deal here as free agency starts. You kind of get another cycle of deal-making here. But he’s four years left on his deal, they’re not going to just give him away in Philly. Whatever they get back for him, they’ve got to believe it continues to make them a championship contender. But they’d like to get a deal done before training camp.”
Eric Pincus: I had heard Caruso was a target of the Pacers, Hawks and Cavs – but the Pacers, I think, keep TJ (TBD) – and the Hawks just got Wright and the Cavs Rubio – so maybe the market for AC has shifted. If I’m Lakers, I don’t think twice about keeping him
Per NBA sources, the Lakers went into the offseason with a clear Plan A: unrealistic hopes of landing a Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal. Plan B was Chris Paul (but then the Phoenix Suns advanced to the NBA Finals) and Westbrook. Hield was always Plan C.
That pushed Hield to the forefront. But even as the possibility of a deal built around Kyle Kuzma and Harrell began to form, the Lakers kept the door open to a Westbrook deal. Westbrook asserted his voice into the conversation, and per an NBA source, the Wizards pivoted. Just like that, the pieces the Kings liked for Hield were no longer available.
De’Aaron Fox: He’s not apart of my team. He doesn’t work for me. He’s a parent and a fan talking just like y’all. So take whatever they say as fans having conversations like y’all do everyday.
Italy made it to the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games after storming back against Nigeria to secure the win, 80-71, at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday. Nicolo Melli and Achille Polonara put the finishing touches on a 14-0 sprint generating a 70-64 lead. The European side held on to secure the victory punching in the ticket for the next round. The team led by Meo Sacchetti will rank first in Group B if Germany beats Australia by a margin of 17 points or less later in Tokyo. It will be in second place in any other case. A helpful reminder, the three group winners and the best-placed second will be seeded for Sunday’s draw.