No decision has been made on Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks’ expiring contract, general manager Tommy Sheppard said Thursday.
On the morning after the Wizards were eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers in five games, Brooks was the top topic for the general manager and coach, with Sheppard saying an evaluation is likely to take place over the next few weeks.
“We are not doing anything about that today,” said Sheppard, who will talk to team owner Ted Leonsis about Brooks’ future. “We obviously are going to do a thorough evaluation from top to bottom of our whole organization and ways we can get better. But any questions about that stuff, that is not for today.”
Brooks said he wants to return after completing his fifth season with the Wizards, who finished 34-38 this season.
“It’s not my decision,” Brooks said. “I love it here. I love the players. … I know we got a lot of work to do. And we are building something that we want to be proud of, and I would love to be a part of it.”
“[The uncertainty] doesn’t bother me one bit,” he added. “That is just part of being in this business. It is obviously well-documented that my contract is up. Never focused on that.”
Brooks’ future and Bradley Beal‘s deal, which will be in its final year next season, are among the top items on Sheppard’s to-do list. Sheppard reiterated that the franchise is built around Beal.
“We have built this team around Bradley, and that is our intention moving forward,” Sheppard said. “I think he is positive about moving forward in the future.”
Beal was noncommittal after Wednesday’s loss, saying it was too soon to declare his future intentions while also praising the team’s young core and the experience of playing alongside Russell Westbrook.
Brooks helped navigate Washington through a season that was threatened by several injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak. The Wizards had their season come to a halt for nine days in January — including 13 days without playing a game — when seven players entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
By April 5, Washington was 17-32. But the Wizards rallied, winning 17 of their final 23 regular-season games to get into the play-in tournament before ultimately becoming the eighth seed.
Brooks is 183-207 with three playoff appearances in his five seasons in Washington.
“Scott did a helluva job keeping this team together during some of the most difficult dark moments probably in franchise history,” Sheppard said. “… That being said, we want to get better. All of us. It starts with me. I’ve got to do my job better. We all have to get better at what we do, and that is what we will use these next few weeks to do.”