Now that the dust has settled for the 2018-19 Wizards season, it's time to review the roster and hand out individual grades...
Who: Scott Brooks, head coach
Year with team: 3rd
Season review: There is no question that from a basketball perspective, the 2018-19 season was among the most challenging of Scott Brooks' career. Even for a man who coached a 23-win team in 2008-09, and the mercurial Russell Westbrook, it would be hard to top all that went on for Washington this year.
Brooks had to navigate around a serious injury for John Wall for the second straight year. Dwight Howard missed all but nine games. The Wizards made five trades and suited up a franchise-record 25 players.
They often played rotations mostly comprised of guys on expiring contracts. And there were in-practice spats between him and players that were made public.
Brooks, along with his players, were not able to keep the ship afloat. They sank to 32-50 by the end of the season and along the way it cost Ernie Grunfeld, the man who hired him, his job. That set the tone for what could be a tumultuous offseason, one that offers no certainty Brooks will be back with the Wizards for a fourth season.
There was some good and some bad with Brooks' job performance in Year 3. He oversaw the continued development of Bradley Beal, who has a chance to make All-NBA when the honors are announced next month. Thomas Bryant had a breakout season after Brooks promoted him to the starting lineup.
Despite a revolving door of a roster and the absence of Wall, the Wizards continued to feature an above-average offense. They finished the season 10th in points and 14th in offensive rating.
But on the other end of the floor, the team continued to trend in the wrong direction, this year bottoming out as one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and in franchise history. They were 29th in defensive rating and 28th in points allowed. They gave up about 11 more points per game than they did the year before, 116.9 compared to 106.
And when it comes to the success of some players, it was fair to question if those leaps could have been made earlier.
Troy Brown Jr., their 2019 first round pick, didn't earn consistent minutes until late February, when the season was essentially long lost. That was despite him showing flashes of promise in his first few months as a rookie. And at times, it appeared Brooks was choosing to play lesser players like Ron Baker or Gary Payton II over him.
All in all, though, it's hard not to grade Brooks on a forgiving scale due to all that went wrong that was out of his control. A head coach could have only done so much to overcome the obstacles the Wizards were presented by injury luck and the front office.
Now the question is whether Brooks will be back for another year and, if he is, whether there will be changes to his staff. Until the Wizards hire a new general manager, it is tough to predict.
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