Dean Oliver

Wizards Notes: Brown Jr., Analytics, Wall

Troy Brown Jr. will make his season debut for the Wizards on Wednesday against the Rockets, as Candace Buckner of the Washington Post relays (Twitter link).

“I’m just happy to be back,” Brown said. “It’s just a good feeling, especially sitting out all that time and just being able to see how well we’ve been playing and just enjoying that mix of how good we’re doing right now.”

It’s unclear if Brown will start the Wizards’ home opener but it would be surprising if the second-year wing doesn’t eventually earn the nod. Here’s more from Washington:

  • Fred Katz of The Athletic details how the Wizards are using statistician Dean Oliver this season. Oliver, who formally worked in several NBA offices, was hired as an assistant coach by Washington this offseason.
  • Offseason addition C.J. Miles has about 1-2 weeks to go before he returns to the court, Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan passes along (Twitter link). Miles came to Washington in the Dwight Howard trade.
  • John Wall was seen at Wizards‘ practice running and taking part in individual drills, as Chase Hughes of NBCSports tweets. The Wizards were recently denied a disabled player exception by the league for Wall’s injuries.

Wizards Announce Changes To Coaching Staff

The Wizards have formally announced a series of changes to Scott Brooks‘ coaching staff, issuing a press release to confirm the moves.

Tony Brown, who has been an assistant on Brooks’ staff since 2016, has been promoted to associate head coach, making him the lead assistant in Washington. The team also hired Mike Longabardi, Corey Gaines, and Dean Oliver as assistants.

Longabardi, a veteran coach who served as an assistant for the Rockets, Celtics, Suns, and Cavaliers, has won titles with Boston and Cleveland. Gaines served as a coaching consultant for the Pistons last season after spending time as an assistant for the Knicks and Suns. Oliver, whom the Wizards call a “pioneer in sports analytics,” comes to D.C. from Sacramento.

Ryan Richman, an assistant coach for Brooks last season, has been named the head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate. Jarell Christian, the Go-Go’s head coach in 2018/19, has joined the Wizards’ staff as an assistant. Interestingly, the Go-Go’s press release refers to both moves as “promotions.”

Despite all the incoming hires, the Wizards are also bringing back several members of last year’s staff, including assistants Robert Pack and Mike Terpstra, and developmental coach Kristi Toliver.

“Coach Brooks and I worked closely to pinpoint what areas we needed to improve and identify the best candidates, both internally and externally, to make the appropriate changes,” new permanent Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “We’re very confident that we have a strong staff in place that is in line with the vision we have for our rebuilding our culture and focusing on the overall development of our players.”