Wizards point guard John Wall insists that hiring Scott Brooks as the team’s new coach wasn’t a ploy to attract Kevin Durant, according to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. The Wizards are expected to be among the teams pursuing Durant in free agency, and Brooks served as his coach for seven seasons in Oklahoma City. Wall said he is “very excited” to have Brooks on board and says the move is about the current team, not about getting Durant’s attention. “We didn’t sign Scotty Brooks to say, ‘Okay, Scotty, go get him. You got to bring us Kevin Durant,’” Wall said. “We got Scotty Brooks because we feel like he can help John Wall and make him a better player and make our team get to the next step. We didn’t get Scotty Brooks just to get Kevin Durant. That’s not what Scott is on board to do. And I hope everybody doesn’t expect just because we got Scotty Brooks, he’s automatically going to get K.D., he’s going to automatically jump.”
There’s more news from Washington:
- Durant said he’s happy to see Brooks get the opportunity in Washington, but he dismissed the idea that it will affect his free agency decision, tweets Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. “I’m not really into theories,” Durant said. “I’m focused on [the playoff series with] the Mavericks.”
- Otto Porter should continue to improve under Brooks, writes Ben Standig of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Standig expects Porter to be the clear starter at small forward entering next season and notes Brooks’ record of developing young players with the Thunder. Porter averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season and is under contract to the Wizards through 2016/17.
- Dez Wells doesn’t seem likely to rejoin the Wizards as he tries to earn a spot in the NBA, according to J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic. Wells hooked up with Washington after going undrafted last summer but suffered a thumb injury in mini-camp before summer league play. He spent the season with Oklahoma City’s affiliate in the D-League and is expected to stay associated with the Thunder this offseason.