Sources: Wizards’ Brooks out as talks fall apart

Scott Brooks is out as Washington Wizards coach after the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a new deal, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooks had just led the Wizards to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. His contract expired after Washington’s first-round loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said earlier this month that the team needed to evaluate Brooks.

In five seasons, Brooks was 183-207 with three playoff appearances, including making the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2016-17. The Wizards went 34-38 this season.

The Wizards will enter a coaching search while also trying to settle the future of Bradley Beal, who is entering the final year of his contract next season.

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.

After the season, Sheppard credited Brooks with helping Washington navigate “some of the most difficult dark moments probably in franchise history.”

Brooks was brought in five years ago in hopes of luring Washington-area native Kevin Durant home to play for the Wizards. Since then, John Wall missed time with injuries and was traded to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook, and Beal emerged as Washington’s top scorer.

The Wizards allowed the most points in the NBA last season and the second-most in the previous two years. They never ranked better than 15th in the league defensively under Brooks.

With Stan Van Gundy also out with the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, there are now six head-coaching openings in the NBA: Boston, Indiana, New Orleans, Orlando, Portland and Washington. Nate McMillan is currently the interim coach in Atlanta, but the expectation is that he will be rewarded with a new contract after the playoffs.

Brooks had been the seventh-longest-tenured coach in his current job. Only San Antonio‘s Gregg Popovich, Miami‘s Erik Spoelstra, Dallas‘ Rick Carlisle, Golden State‘s Steve Kerr, Utah‘s Quin Snyder and Denver‘s Michael Malone have had their current jobs longer.

Information from ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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