Former Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is set to join the Portland Trail Blazers coaching staff as Chauncey Billups' top assistant, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooks recently parted ways with the Wizards, where he had been the head coach for five seasons. Wizards general manager Tommy Shepard said it was his decision to not give Brooks a new contract, after it was previously reported that the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a new contract.
For the Trail Blazers, bringing in Brooks is a big-time hire for Billups, who will be embarking on his first season as a head coach when the 2021-22 season starts in the fall. Brooks has a reputation around the league as a player's coach, which could come in handy with the reported rockiness between franchise star Damian Lillard and Portland's front office. If Brooks can come in and establish a solid rapport with Lillard, it could go a long way in quelling in fears that may exist of the superstar guard potentially requesting a trade in the future.
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Having Brooks on staff also gives Portland's coaching ranks some credibility behind Billups, who will be able to lean on Brooks as a coach with winning and playoff experience.
In Washington, Brooks took the Wizards to the postseason three times, and made the Eastern Conference finals in 2017 before injuries continued to plague the organization. Brooks pulled off perhaps his most impressive coaching feat this season when he navigated a Wizards team that started the season 0-5 and strung together multiple losing streaks throughout the season into the playoffs as the eighth seed after getting through the play-in tournament.
However, after five seasons with the franchise the Wizards felt it was time to get a new voice in the locker room as the organization's time is ticking with All-Star guard Bradley Beal, who has made it clear that while he wants to stay in D.C., he also wants to win.