Wizards Notes: Brooks, Durant, Porter

The Wizards’ deal to hire Scott Brooks as their new coach was a safe move for the franchise, as he is likely to be a solid leader for the team, writes Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post. But the jury still remains out on how successful Brooks can be without Kevin Durant to aid him, Brewer adds, with the scribe also noting that Brooks was fired after a season that saw the small forward limited to just 27 games. It’s also remains to be seen how well Brooks will coexist with John Wall after the coach had his difficulties at times with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, with many believing Brooks’ offense limited the point guard’s productivity, Brewer adds.

Washington may have to hope that Brooks doesn’t require the presence of Durant to succeed, as friends of the player have indicated that he doesn’t want to sign with the Wizards and deal with the pressure of being surrounded by family, friends and hangers-on from his native Washington. Here’s more from the nation’s capital:

  • Some possible candidates for Brooks’ coaching staff in Washington include Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian, Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks and former Nets interim coach Tony Brown, David Aldridge of NBA.com relays (Twitter links).
  • Brooks is an ardent believer in the potential of 2013 No. 3 overall pick Otto Porter, Aldridge notes. Porter, 22, appeared in 75 games for the Wizards this season and averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists, all of which were career highs.
  • The deal with Brooks is the culmination of the team’s moves the past few seasons, all of which were aimed at luring Durant to Washington D.C., writes J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic. The front office doesn’t view Brooks’ five-year pact as a risk, seeing the coach as a known quantity, Michael adds. Brooks should bring a fresh start to the team’s locker room, though he would be wise to add a disciplinarian to his coaching staff to help balance out his affable personality, the scribe opines.
  • Durant said today that he’s happy Brooks landed the new position but insisted he’s focused on the playoffs when asked if the move increased his chances of joining the Wizards, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman relays.
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