- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Scott Brooks is entering the final year of his contract, but the Wizards coach doesn’t sound worried over the lack of progress related to a new deal.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the beginning of training camp, Brooks said “it’s no secret” how much he likes being in the District.

“Those things will be taken care of at the right time,” Brooks said. “But I’m excited. I’m fired up about coaching this team. This team has given me a lot of great moments last season. I anticipate more development this season. Ted (Leonsis) and the ownership group, along with Tommy (Sheppard), have given me the resources I need to build this team the right way and I’m excited about that.”

Leonsis and Sheppard, the team’s general manager, will ultimately be the ones to decide if Brooks gets to come back for a sixth season.

Through his first four years, Brooks has led Washington to a 149-169 record with two playoff appearances. Brooks was hired to get the most out of a promising young core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. But midway through his tenure, expectations changed as the Wizards rebuilt their roster to get significantly younger.

This season, Brooks will be expected to navigate the Wizards’ youth with the return of Wall, who has missed the past two years with multiple injuries. Washington wants to make the playoffs, but that will require players like Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant to take another step forward in order to support Beal and Wall.

Washington first hired Brooks in 2016 on a five-year, $35 million contract — making him one of the six highest-paid coaches at the time. Before joining the Wizards, Brooks had great success in Oklahoma City, leading a young team of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden to the finals in 2012. Brooks compiled a 338-237 record in Oklahoma City with five playoff appearances.

In August, the Wizards announced Brooks would return for a fifth season.

“”He’s a decorated coach,” Sheppard said. “He’s been in the league a long time as a player and as a coach. Very accomplished guy. And I think we’re in great hands next season.”

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