Eastern Notes: Brooks, Ntilikina, Lopez, Knicks

Wizards coach Scott Brooks recently finished his third season with Washington and 10th season as an NBA head coach, reaching a full decade in the position and achieving a goal that very few coaches do these days.

Brooks guided the Wizards through a tumultuous, injury-plagued season and finished with a 32-50 record, causing some around the league to question his future job security. Team owner Ted Leonsis has since decided to keep Brooks entering next season, but Brooks was non-committal on whether the rest of his staff would be joining him for another year.

“I’ve talked to Ted. I definitely talked Ted,” Brooks said, as relayed by Ben Standig of NBC Sports. “I have a lot of respect for our organization. I have to get better, first and foremost…Will the staff remain the same? Every year, staffs change. Every year staffs change. We’re probably going to make some changes. I don’t know if it’s for sure. Everything is still up in the air.”

Brooks shares a close relationship with former Rockets defensive guru Jeff Bzdelik, who was let go from Houston in a surprising move last week. Washington could wind up pursuing Bzdelik or lose some of their assistant coaches – such as Tony Brown – to other teams, Standig notes. Brown was one of Brooks’ lead assistants this past season but is now a coaching free agent.

Regardless of which assistant coaches return for Washington, the team is still seeking a new president of basketball operations and recently offered their vacant position to Denver’s Tim Connelly, according to a report from The Athletic.

“Ted is going to make a [president of basketball operations] decision and I trust that I going to be the best for the program moving forward,” Brooks said. “As of right now, (interim GM Tommy Sheppard) is doing a great job leading the group. We all feel comfortable with what’s going on. Hopefully, things work out and we move forward as an organization. We all have to get better, myself included.”

Here are some other notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks will explore a trade centered around Frank Ntilikina in the hopes of landing a late first-round or early second-round draft pick, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. New York explored moving Ntilikina during the regular season but ultimately opted to hold onto him past the NBA’s trade deadline. Ntilikina was drafted by the Knicks with the No. 8 pick in 2017.
  • Brook Lopez‘s big Game 1 showed once again why the Bucks’ decision to sign him was a steal last summer, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Lopez, who is on a one-year, $3.4MM deal, finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in Milwaukee’s Game 1 victory.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks previews the offseason for the Knicks, including potential free-agent targets, the draft, possible trades and future moves. New York is widely expected to pursue top-tier free agents such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker when free agency opens on the night of June 30.
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17 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Brooks, Ntilikina, Lopez, Knicks

  1. hiflew

    The Suns ought to trade pick 32 for Ntilikina. Couldn’t hurt and even though he has disappointed thus far, he is probably a greater talent than anyone at that pick. A great reason would be the Suns being able to pick the best player available at 6 instead of pretty much needing a PG regardless.

    • jkoms57

      Def agree. Not going to get someone better at 32, and Knicks can simply use it as cash savings if they aren’t thrilled with the pick.

  2. greg1

    I would be ok with that deal. Turn Frank into Eric Paschall or Admiral Schofield, and why not, Frank obviously is not in the plans anyway.

    If Knicks really become sticklers for moving him for a single 2nd, add a second future 2nd in the 2022 range.

  3. Dionis

    Maybe the Knicks should focus on building with Frank,Dennis,Robinson, and Knox. Bring back Melo and slot him at the 4. The Knicks would be making a mistake moving Frank.

    • thegutsscrambler

      Bring back Melo? For what? There’s a reason he didn’t make it back to a roster this year.

      • Dionis89

        I miss Melo man, he should’ve remained a Knick for the rest of his career. It was not his fault they couldn’t win, if he was still there Porzingis would have been happy and never became disgruntled.

          • Dionis89

            That’s just the media giving the man a bad name, Melo was my favorite player growing up so it hurts to see people talk about him like he’s someone who can’t hoop. I can’t think of 20 better players than Melo right now.

    • Frank has been awful, though. He hasn’t shown much in the way of being a piece you can build around.

      Also, bringing back Melo is not a smart move.

  4. x%sure

    N’kina has a PER of 6 & not rising! Net minus27, BPM minus5.7. Below average defensive components too. They have offered him before, but no soup for you. NYK will take anything to move his $5mil.

  5. Frank has no place in Fiz World. It is comical though that an organization which says its about player development would look to trade a 20-year old with his physical attributes. If KD and KI buy in, great. Otherwise, this regime will be one that only the Isiah-ites can love; until the end, of course.

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