Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is “sitting firmly” on the hot seat, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Brooks, who was hired by the Wizards in 2016, is now in the final season of his five-year contract with the club, O’Connor notes. His tenure in D.C. got off to a strong start with a 49-33 regular season record and a first-round playoff series win in ’16/17, but Washington’s winning percentage has declined every year since then. So far this season, the team is 2-8.
O’Connor suggests that Brooks “looks lost trying to find effective lineups” this season, though he cautions that the Wizards’ struggles can’t all be blamed on the head coach.
The team’s mid-level free agent addition – Robin Lopez – hasn’t been great, newly-added guard Russell Westbrook has shot a career-worst 37.8% from the floor, and Deni Avdija is a rookie going through growing pains. Thomas Bryant is now out for the season with a torn ACL, while Davis Bertans has been ineffective in the early going after signing a lucrative new long-term contract in November.
As O’Connor writes, it’s still very early in the season, so if the Wizards can turn things around, the pressure on Brooks should lift a little. But the fact that he doesn’t have a contract beyond this season doesn’t bode particularly well, especially if the club continues to underperform.