Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks may have thrown a subtle shot at Kevin Durant while talking about John Wall’s contract
It was uncertain at the beginning of the offseason if John Wall would sign an extension with the Washington Wizards, but he eventually did and made head coach Scott Brooks a happy man. Brooks knows about losing star players all too well from his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He was head coach of the Thunder for seven seasons. The highlight of his tenure there was a trip to the 2012 NBA Finals, but the Thunder unfortunately traded James Harden shortly before the next season started. Kevin Durant was the next star out the door. This is why Brooks was pleased that Wall decided to sign an extension.
"“It’s not easy to keep all of your players. I know that pretty well without getting into details. It’s not easy to draft good players, either,” Brooks said to CSNMidAtlantic. “It’s critical that your star players want to stay and play for the team. Without getting into the details that you all are well aware of, like in this past summer, that’s not always the case. We have our three players that we drafted all wanting to stay here and stay long-term. That’s good. That’s good because if you don’t have your best players wanting to stay here, then nobody wants to stay here. But we have John committed. I love guys that care for their team and John does care for his team.”"
The last sentence of that quote feels like some shade is being thrown at Durant, but Brooks would never admit to that. Durant’s departure from Oklahoma City upset the balance of the Western Conference, and it has left most of the league playing catch up or tanking.
The Wizards have Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Wall locked into longterm deals, and that should keep them in the playoff picture for the foreseeable future. Beal and Porter might be the best 3-point shooting duo outside of Golden State, and Wall is the perfect slashing point guard to set them up.
Washington will have a legitimate shot as a contender next year, especially considering the roster turnover that Cleveland and Boston are going through right now. The Wizards are lucky to have star players who want to stay in town, and Wall is the key to their entire operation. Brooks is justifiably thankful about the situation he is currently in, because it is quite different than how his last team operated.