Wizards Notes: Brooks, Westbrook, Beal, Gafford

Following the Wizards‘ elimination from the playoffs on Wednesday night, the franchise will face a number of crucial offseason decisions, starting with the future of head coach Scott Brooks. Brooks doesn’t have a contract beyond this season, but indicated after last night’s loss to Philadelphia that he’d like to remain in his current role.

“I love it here. There’s no decision in my mind, I love it here,” Brooks said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

The decision on Brooks will ultimately be up to Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard and owner Ted Leonsis, but it’s possible they’ll seek input from the team’s star players. And it doesn’t sound like they’re looking for a change. As Candace Buckner of The Washington Post relays, Bradley Beal referred to Brooks as a “true player’s coach,” while Russell Westbrook endorsed the man who also coached him in Oklahoma City.

“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 said, according to Hughes. “If the conversation is brought to me, I will definitely voice my opinion like I’m voicing it now and see what happens.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Beal’s future will also be a major topic of discussion in D.C. this offseason as the All-Star guard enters a contract year, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Beal said on Wednesday that he’s making an effort not to focus on the inevitable rumors. “Ultimately, I’m in control,” Beal said. “I think that’s my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S–t, they’re starting now.”
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic argues that the Wizards can’t – and won’t – trade Beal this offseason, but that they owe it to him to be bold in reshaping and upgrading the roster around him.
  • In his look at the Wizards’ offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) notes that Beal will be eligible for a four-year extension worth a projected $181MM this offseason. Marks also examines the team’s proximity to the luxury tax line and identifies wing defenders and depth as top summer priorities.
  • Recently-acquired big man Daniel Gafford, who looks to be part of the Wizards’ future, says he’ll be looking to put on weight and work on his conditioning during the summer, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. If I wanna be out there 20-plus minutes every single night, my conditioning has to be top-tier,” Gafford said.
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