Scott Brooks has agreed in principle to a five-year, $35 million contract to become head coach of the Washington Wizards, league sources told The Vertical.
Brooks' deal moves him into the elite of the highest-paid coaches in the league who don't also hold front-office power. Brooks’ $7 million annual package is comparable to Dallas coach Rick Carlisle's contract.
Brooks met with Washington general manager Ernie Grunfeld and vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard throughout the day on Wednesday in Southern California and discussed the parameters of a partnership to take over the Wizards.
Washington had been searching for a coach to replace Randy Wittman, who was fired at season's end. Grunfeld wanted a coach with the ability to build a strong relationship and earn the respect of star players John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Wizards expected to be a playoff team this year, but fell back into the lottery.
Brooks was fired after the 2015 season in Oklahoma City, where he went 338-207 in seven seasons as coach of the Thunder. He led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals.
Washington will be pursuing D.C-area native Kevin Durant in free agency, but the Wizards remain a long shot in his recruitment, and Brooks' hire isn't expected to have a significant impact on Durant's ultimate decision-making process, league sources said.
Brooks coached Durant for seven seasons with the Thunder.
Brooks was the Wizards' No. 1 target in their brief search process, which didn't include serious discussions with any other candidate, league sources said.
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