Four NBA teams are currently on the lookout for new head coaches, while most other clubs whose seasons have ended will stick with their current leaders. However, one team has notably yet to make a call on its head coach — Scott Brooks‘ doesn’t have a contract with the Wizards for the 2021/22 season, and Washington has yet to finalize a decision on whether or not he’ll be back.
Halfway through the 2020/21 season, Brooks looked like he might be the first coach to be let go, either right after the All-Star break or when the regular season ended. The Wizards had a 17-32 record and looked dead in the water, far removed from the playoff picture.
However, a second-half surge saw the Wizards finish the season on a 17-6 run, earning them a play-in spot, which they parlayed into a playoff berth. Washington didn’t last long in the postseason, falling to Philadelphia in five games in the first round. But the late-season hot streak complicated the team’s decision on Brooks, who probably couldn’t realistically have been expected to lead the squad any further, given its lack of top-tier talent outside the backcourt combo of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
Those two star guards both endorsed Brooks in their end-of-season sessions with the media. Westbrook, who also played for Brooks in Oklahoma City, was particularly effusive in his praise of the veteran coach.
“If it was up to me, Scotty wouldn’t be going anywhere. It’s not even a question or a conversation to even be brought up,” Westbrook told reporters last week. “If the conversation is brought to me, I will definitely voice my opinion like I’m voicing it now and see what happens.”
Westbrook’s support of Brooks – as well as Beal’s – could play a significant role in the Wizards’ decision, according to Quinton Mayo, who suggests there has been momentum toward the two sides working out a new deal. If Brooks does return, Mayo says, it would be contingent on him overhauling his coaching staff.
Still, the Wizards haven’t officially made their decision yet, so before they do, we want to know what you think. Should – and will – they bring back Brooks? If they don’t, which coaching candidate(s) should they target? And, in that scenario, would Brooks be a good fit for another team’s head coaching vacancy?
Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts on the Wizards and Brooks!