The Washington Wizards now look a lot different than the team Scott Brooks took over back in the summer of 2016. Gone are core players like Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat. Instead of proven, specialized veterans, his roster is full of young players whose main selling point is their upside.
When Brooks came to Washington, the goal was to win now. Now it looks a lot more like 'build now to win later.'
The Wizards' roster overhaul will require an adjustment for Brooks. He's a coach who has been to the NBA Finals and conference finals. In two of his three years with the Wizards, they have made the playoffs.
But this year his job will be more so to teach. He will be tasked with overseeing the development of guys like Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Admiral Schofield, and Moe Wagner.
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said at his introductory press conference last month that Brooks is embracing the change.
"One thing I also want to really pipe in on is the support we have from Coach Brooks and his staff and the ability they have to pivot. When Coach Brooks got here, we won 49 games and we were one game away from going to the conference finals. That was kind of the team he got coming through the door. Now, this takes him back to his OKC days," Sheppard said.
Many remember Brooks' Thunder as the team that made the Finals in 2012. They recall the juggernaut that averaged 53 wins from 2009 to 2015.
But before the Thunder were title contenders, they won 23 games in the 2008-09 season. That was one of four straight losing seasons for the franchise.