Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard not ready to decide on Scott Brooks' future

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Wizards GM not ready to decide on Brooks' future originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Wizards fans will have to wait a little longer to find out the answer everyone is wondering about, which is the future of head coach Scott Brooks, who just finished off the final season of his five-year contract. 

As for how long, it's hard to tell. Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard indicated the decision could be made in the coming weeks before Brooks' deal officially expires. But Sheppard first plans to go through a detailed evaluation, beginning with annual exit meetings with Brooks and every player on the roster along with team chairman Ted Leonsis.

"We’re not doing anything about that today. We’re obviously going to do a thorough evaluation top-to-bottom of our whole organization and ways we can get better," Sheppard said. 

"Any question about that stuff, that’s not for today, that’s not for this time. I will say this, Scotty did a hell of a job keeping this team together through some of the most difficult and dark moments probably in franchise history, to be honest with you."

Sheppard framed Brooks' tenure positively and cut him some slack for the roster turnover and injuries the team has undergone over the years. The moments he was referring to involved the team's coronavirus outbreak in January which derailed their season and dug a deep hole they ultimately climbed out of to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Wizards closed the regular season 17-6, then advanced out of the play-in tournament.

That said, Sheppard made it clear the Wizards have to get a lot better this offseason and evaluating Brooks' job performance will be part of that process.

"Now the question is, do we have enough talent here, do we have enough strength in the coaching staff to move forward? That’s what we’re going to evaluate and I think we do. I think Scotty has done a heck of a job given the circumstances," Sheppard said.

The decision, Sheppard says, is ultimately up to him. He plans to consult with Leonsis but said Leonsis has given him full power to make the final call.

Brooks, meanwhile, will have to wait just like the rest of us. Though he made it known on Wednesday night and Thursday morning he wants to stay, he said it's not keeping him up at night.

"It doesn’t bother me one bit. That’s just part of being in this business. It’s obviously well-documented that my contract’s up," Brooks said.

Brooks instead is turning his focus to his family, which he has missed while coaching the Wizards this season, with few off-days in between games. He's also grateful for every opportunity he's received in the NBA, saying he's "got a lot of privilege" to have enjoyed the career he's had, beginning with a 10-year stint as a player after going undrafted out of college.

Brooks and Wizards fans will hear in due time. For now, Sheppard has some thinking to do.