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Chase Hughes: Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard has released a statement thanking Scott Brooks in a press release announcing his departure. Sheppard: pic.twitter.com/tGvszYnRe5
Chris Mannix: Scott Brooks is out as Wizards coach, a source told @SInow. Brooks, whose contract expired at the end of the season, had been discussing a new deal with Wizards ownership. Two sides couldn’t agree. Wizards, Brooks move on.
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.
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July 30, 2021 | 4:20 pm EDT Update
The Jump on ESPN: Zach Lowe on Ben Simmons trade: “I don’t think they have anything close right now or last night. As of now, I expect this to linger into the summer which would get awkward. They don’t have traction anywhere”
July 30, 2021 | 4:11 pm EDT Update
A deal to send Hield to the Lakers for Harrell and Kuzma seemed all but certain, until it wasn’t Thursday when The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Lakers instead are sending Kuzma and Harrell to Washington as part of a deal to acquire Russell Westbrook. League sources said all the players involved in the much-discussed Lakers-Kings deal expected that trade to happen.
Zach Lowe: I heard the Lakers were adamantly opposed to — ‘We are not hardcapping ourselves, we’re just not doing that to our in-season flexibility, we want to maintain our options’. And that precludes Kyle Lowry being signed and traded — anyone you want to sign and trade to the Lakers, it precludes from happening.
Kyle Kuzma: Man oh man where do I begin??? Lakeshow we’ve had a journey. I was 21 and just a young pup coming here and you guys opened up your arms openly and accepted me into the LA community! Coming into to this league I told Robby, Jeanie and Magic that all I wanted to do here is help be apart of something special and help be apart one of those banners (now) 17 banners and dammit we did it!