Washington Wizards part ways with coach Scott Brooks after five seasons

Washington’s Scott Brooks led the Wizards from a 17-32 record to a spot in the playoffs, but he won’t return as the team’s coach, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the team made an official announcement.

Brooks’ contract expired after the season, and the two sides could not agree on the terms of a new deal.

Brooks spent five up-and-down seasons with the Wizards, going 183-207 with three playoff appearances in 2017, 2018 and 2021. The Wizards lost in the first round twice and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2017.

Scott Brooks spent five up-and-down seasons with the Wizards, going 183-207 with three playoff appearances in 2017, 2018 and 2021. (Photo: Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports)

He took over a Wizards team that featured guards John Wall and Bradley Beal. But injuries, especially to Wall, derailed that backcourt pairing. Washington was never able to assemble the roster that could compete with the top teams in the East during the playoffs. In 2017, the Wizards lost to the Celtics in the seven games, and that was the closest they got to the conference finals.

The Wizards saw plenty of changes, including the trade of Wall to Houston for Russell Westbrook at the start of the 2020-21 season. The Wizards also parted ways with top basketball operations executive Ernie Grunfeld and replaced him with Tommy Sheppard.

With a core of Beal, who can become a free agent after next season, and Westbrook, the Wizards have something to work with. Rui Hachimura improved in his second season, Daniel Gafford showed signs he can contribute, Thomas Bryant missed almost all of the season with a knee injury and rookie Deni Avdija showed promise until his season was cut short due to a leg injury.

Brooks was the second coach on Wednesday to part ways with his team. New Orleans decided to move on from Stan Van Gundy, too. There are now six coaching openings: Boston, Portland, New Orleans, Washington, Orlando and Indiana.

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