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Wizards lock up coach Scott Brooks on 5-year deal

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Wizards lock up coach Scott Brooks on 5-year deal

The No. 1 target for the Wizards, from the moment Randy Wittman was fired after the final regular-season game, has been Scott Brooks. They locked him up with a five-year deal worth $35 million on Thursday, two people with knowledge of the situation told CSNmidatlantic.com.

Brooks took the year off from coaching after he was fired from the Oklahoma City Thunder when the missed the playoffs in 2014-15. 

Brooks spent five-plus years as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and then-Seattle SuperSonics who became the Thunder upon relocation. After he took over for P.J. Carlesimo following a 1-12 start of what would be a 22-win campaign in 2008-09, Brooks never won fewer than 45 games until he was fired after the 2014-15 season when the Thunder missed the playoffs with Kevin Durant missing 55 games because of injury.

MORE WIZARDS: DURANT'S MOM TALKS POSSIBILITY OF KD TO D.C.

That's one loss fewer than the Wizards' best season under Wittman (46), who did lead the team to consecutive Eastern Conference semifinals appearances until going 41-41 to miss the playoffs this season amid high expectations.

Brooks won 50 in 2009-10 (named NBA Coach of the Year), 55, 47 (in a 66-game lockout shortened season) and won the Western Conference title, 60, 59 and 45 games. 

He has a career record of 338-207, or 62%. His teams were 73-39, or 53.4%, in the playoffs. Brooks led the Thunder to the conference finals three times in four seasons. 

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Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

On Monday, for the first time since 2018-19 training camp began, the Wizards were complete.

Dwight Howard, who missed three weeks due to a strained piriformis muscle, participated in his first full practice with his new team. The 32-year-old signed a free agent deal with the Wizards in July, but had yet to take the court due to the injury, which began bothering him shortly before camp began on Sept. 25.

Howard had a setback on Oct. 6 and saw a specialist in New York. He received a pain injection on Tuesday and on Saturday began shooting again.

After clearing that hurdle, he was ready to be a full-go with his new teammates.

"It felt pretty good. I really gotta catch my wind and learn some of the offense. But other than that, it felt pretty good," Howard said of Day 1.

Howard practicing on Monday gives him two more days to work with before the Wizards open their season on Thursday at home against the Miami Heat. Both he and head coach Scott Brooks say it's too early to tell if he will be available.

"We'll see how it feels. I will do everything I can to make myself available for all 82 games," Howard said.

Howard not only has to play himself into game shape, he has to develop chemistry and timing with his new teammates. He missed all five of their preseason games.

If Howard can play, that would certainly be a positive turn of events for the Wizards. As of the end of last week, it seemed highly unlikely he would be ready when the regular season began.

But Howard turned a corner and now appears to be coming along quicker than once expected. 

"It was probably our best practice of training camp," Brooks said Monday after finally getting Howard into the mix.

"He has a natural feel. His IQ was pretty high, I was impressed with that. He picked things up."

Howard signed a two-year contract worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.

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Wizards send Jodie Meeks, future second-round pick to Bucks

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Wizards send Jodie Meeks, future second-round pick to Bucks

Just three days away from their home-opener against the Miami Heat, the Wizards are still busy at work finalizing their 2018-19 roster. 

Jodie Meeks was traded to the Bucks Monday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Wizards are also sending a future secound-round pick and cash. 

The Wizards' front office walks away with a total savings amount of $10.4 million in salary and luxury tax. A win for the team. 

The 31-year-old guard averaged just 6.3 points in his lone season with Washington a year ago. 

The move comes after Meeks was suspended 25 games for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program last April. 

The No. 41 draft pick in the 2009 NBA draft has played for six teams throughout his career. He made brief stops in Mikwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit and Orlando prior to arriving in the nation's capital. 

Milwaukee is expected to waive Meeks upon arrival. 

 

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