Even as signs pointed to the Wizards retaining Scott Brooks – who was on an expiring contract this season – an important caveat loomed:
he and Washington must negotiate a new deal, which can always carry complications.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Washington and coach Scott Brooks couldn't come to an agreement on a new deal and are agreeing to part ways, sources tell ESPN. Brooks' deal expired after the playoffs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2021
Brooks appears unlikely to land another NBA head-coaching job. Financially, it seems foolish to reject any reasonable contract the Wizards offered. They held significant leverage given the lack of demand in Brooks.
Which is why they shouldn’t have entertained keeping him in the first place.
Washington can do better than Brooks at coach. Sure, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook seemed to like him, but he didn’t do enough to hold them accountable. Really, Brooks didn’t hold anyone accountable enough defensively. His offense was unimaginative. At least back in the playoffs this year, Brooks mostly just had an opportunity to disappoint with his overly reluctant adjustments.
The Wizards want to get better. Now, they have an opportunity to upgrade their coach.
A new coach, especially a first-time coach, carries downside risk. Brooks – who previously coached the Thunder – was a known commodity.
But the upside of a coaching change more than justifies moving on.