East Notes: Wizards, Brian Keefe, Hawks, Draft, Pistons, Trajan Langdon


The Wizards finished 8-31 under Brian Keefe as interim coach, but they believed in him enough to give him the job on a full-time basis. Keefe seems to believe in the Wizards, too.Brian Keefe, Washington Wizards, NBA

“This is a very rare opportunity in sports when you get to work with people that are aligned — from ownership down to the front office to coaching — and we’re invested in finding the right way to do things,” Keefe said, via Greg Finberg of Bullets Forever.

GM Will Dawkins added he too thinks Keefe is the right fit.

“Through those 19 years that [Brian] has been in the league, I’d put his hard work up there with anybody,” Dawkins said. “The diligence, the care, the sweat-equity that he’s put in with the players on the floor … you can see it and you can feel it.”

Dawkins added that Keefe “has a unique ability to see people and things for what they can be, not for where they are or who they are right now. And when you think of the phase our team is in right now, that’s vital.”

  • The Wizards have not reached 50 wins in a season since 1979, their last appearance in the Finals. They won the title — as the Washington Bullets — in 1978.
  • Keefe received some strong endorsements from the players following the season. “He really galvanized a tight group,” forward Kyle Kuzma said in April, via Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. “… That first half of the season, there were a lot of games where the game was over at halftime, the game was over the first six minutes into the second half. We started to compete.”


Sam Vecenie of the Athletic has the Hawks selecting French big man Alex Sarr with the No. 1 overall draft pick. But it seems as if Atlanta is far from set on that.

“Because the Hawks are still earlier in their process than many of the other teams at the top of the lottery, this selection is still seen as being fluid,” Vecenie wrote. “The two most popular names that come up around the league remain Sarr and (French forward Zaccharie Risacher), but the Hawks continue to perform due diligence beyond those two. Donovan Clingan is also seen as a potential option at all three of the top selections before his range goes dark for the teams currently slotted at Nos. 4 through No. 6.”


There’s no telling which way new Pistons head of basketball operations Trajan Langdon will go with the No. 5 overall pick. Of course, Langdon has other massive decisions to make — including the status of highly paid coach Monty Williams.

It is believed that Langdon will give Williams another season, given how much Detroit is paying him. But Williams could be on a short leash with Langdon. That makes sense. GMs typically like to hire their own coach.

Either way, Langdon has a massive amount of work ahead of him.

“There’s been a mixture of both good and bad happenings within the Detroit Pistons franchise since Tom Gores took over ownership in 2015,” wrote Kory Woods of MLive. “The past five seasons — where the Pistons have a combined record of 94-290, four of which were under former general manager Troy Weaver — represent the worst stretch in team history.”

  • The Pistons haven’t won 25 games in a season since 2019, as Woods also relayed. That is why some suggest Langdon could look to trade the No. 5 pick for immediate help.

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