Wizards GM Eyes August As Timeline For Coaching Hire

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard appears to be setting an August deadline on hiring a new coach, relayed Ava Wallace of The Washington Post.Tommy Sheppard

“Ideally, when you get into free agency, there’s an element that players would like to know who’s the coach, what’s their version, what are we about,” Sheppard said. “So August 2 is out there in a distant place, but I don’t like to get sped up. I think patience is a competitive advantage.”

The Wizards opted not to bring back Scott Brooks after his contract expired following the season. Brooks compiled a 183-207 record in five years in Washington, and was said to be a favorite of star guard Russell Westbrook.

Now, the Wizards will look for someone to keep Westbrook and fellow star Bradley Beal happy, while pushing the team to another level.

“I would be very obvious to state that we have a very talented backcourt,” Sheppard said. “How can we take advantage? How can we make the game easier? Bradley Beal is usually seen with three [defenders] at all times when he has the ball.

“There’s triple teams, double teams everywhere he goes. How can we make his life easier? How can we complement him and Russell? Maybe some more outside scoring and depth, those kind of things. But those kinds of problems are going to be there no matter who the coach is.”

Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington listed Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr., 76ers assistant Sam Cassell, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, ESPN analyst Mark Jackson and Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni as candidates worth considering. Unseld is the son of late Washington legend Wes Unseld.

“The days of one coach being the solution to every single problem that a team has is over. We recognize that,” Sheppard said. “That’s why you see a lot more reliance on an offensive coordinator, if you will, a defensive coordinator. I think everything starts with being a great communicator. … But the areas we’re going to look for, those are vision checks and our key performance indicators moving forward.”

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