Scott Brooks and Washington Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld had met for days out near Brooks’ home in California and with no news there seemed there was no progress. Was Brooks dragging his feet to talk to the Houston Rockets after their season ends (when J.B. Bickerstaff is expected to be let go)? Was he waiting to see what the Lakers were going to do with Byron Scott?
Brooks has signed a five-year deal to coach John Wall and the Washington Wizards, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
David Aldridge of NBA.com and TNT added some details.
This is a good hire by the Wizards — players love Brooks, and he built a strong culture with a young team in Oklahoma City. He knows how to develop players and get them on the same page (something the Wizards need).
And oh yeah, Kevin Durant LOVES him. That doesn’t hurt. Even after an ugly season on the court, this could get the Wizards an interview with Durant after July 1, although it is a longshot he comes home to the nation’s capital. (That’s assuming KD decides to leave Oklahoma City, and even if he is leaving it’s no sure thing he wants to go home to play — a lot of players don’t want those added distractions and pressures.)
The Wizards are a team with talent, but one that has felt like a clash of styles. With Wall’s speed, a shooter like Bradley Beal, guys like Markeiff Morris and Otto Porter (and Jared Dudley) they should get out and run more. But they also had Marcin Gortat playing well as a traditional big, and an old-school coach in Randy Wittman.
The Wizards were one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last season, missing the playoffs after making the second round the past couple seasons. Look for a few roster changes this summer and a bounce-back season starting in the fall. They just got themselves one of the better coaches on the market.