The NBA‘s post-playoff coaching and executive shuffle, so far, has not been great for the Washington Wizards.
First, Danny Ainge left the Boston front office and was replaced by Celtics coach Brad Stevens, which leaves one of the game’s legendary coaching jobs open.
That won’t help the Wizards.
Then, the Portland Trail Blazers and their long-time coach, Terry Stotts, reportedly “mutually agreed to part company” after Portland’s fourth first-round playoff exit in five years, which leaves a coaching job with one of the greatest players in the league, Damion Lillard, open.
Soon after, the Orlando Magic and Steve Clifford also had one of those “mutual decisions” parting of the ways, leaving open the coaching job that … well, it is a short drive to Walt Disney World.
But this franchise has a dismal record of attracting people who are in demand — see Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Maybe Sheppard not being Ernie Grunfeld will change that.
Sheppard said an evaluation will take place over the next few weeks.
“We are not doing anything about that today,” Sheppard said. “We obviously are going to do a thorough evaluation from top to bottom of our whole organization and ways we can get better. But any questions about that stuff, that is not for today.”
By the time the whole organization gets around to that, all the cool kids may be taken.
When all is said and done, the issue for Sheppard may come down to the inability to get the coach he wants to come to Washington. Then he will need to come up with a plan to live with Brooks and an extension that certainly doesn’t last for another five years.
He was referring to the roster, and his trade of John Wall for Westbrook certainly backs up that statement. As erratic as Westbrook is and as limited as he is when it comes to NBA playoff basketball, he helped the franchise move on from Wall, his behind-the-scenes baggage and his contract. Fan-favorite Westbrook is a big swing that connected.
Sheppard may be satisfied with the job Brooks has done — keeping this team together during a difficult COVID-19-plagued start and the season-ending turnaround of winning 17 of their final 23 games to get into the playoffs.
You can hear Thom Loverro on The Kevin Sheehan Show podcast.