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Scott Brooks is the odds-on favorite to be the first NBA head coach fired this season

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The Washington Wizards head coach is on the hot seat this season as he heads into the last year of his contract. If things don’t improve quickly, he may be taken out of his misery even earlier.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Scott Brooks is regarded as one of the head coaches who are most likely to be fired this season.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m not exactly one to follow what oddsmakers want to predict for their own financial gain. But in general, the oddsmakers do give reasonable choices on who or what the more likely outcomes can be, including in sports when it comes to head coaches and their job security.

For the Washington Wizards, head coach Scott Brooks may not want to admit it, but he knows his days are numbered. Anecdotally, we all know he’s on thin ice ... and there’s a good chance that he’s not going to make it through 82 games this season. And that’s before I get to the oddsmakers.

According to BetOnline.ag, Brooks is a 2:1 favorite to be the first NBA head coach to get terminated midseason.

Sam Cox of SportsBettingDime.com also listed Brooks as the favorite with Casey not far behind.

So why could Brooks be fired this season, even if one of his favorite players to work with, Russell Westbrook, is back? Here’s why

  • The Wizards are expected to make a playoff push this season and can’t afford a slow start — With the recent trade for Westbrook, it is imperative that he and Beal build a strong chemistry right away. And with the Wizards not playing Westbrook so far this preseason, that’s perplexing. Practices are important, but it’s important to play other teams as well. And ... the Wizards are 0-2 in the preseason last time I checked. Yeah, the games don’t count .... but they do.
  • Brooks is on the last year of his current contract — It’s rare to see a head coach in the NBA or any professional sport be on the last year of a contract because he or she will essentially be perceived as a lame duck or a dead man walking. Sometimes, things work out like it did for Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals, who won the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup. But usually they don’t. The Wizards were in this position in 2015-16 with Randy Wittman and he was definitely a lame duck. And even in the Capitals’ case with Trotz, he left the team for the New York Islanders soon after winning the title.
  • Saving money — The Wizards are in the last year of a five-year $35 million contract with Brooks. If they fire him, he will still likely collect the rest of the money while they may have to pay more money to promote an assistant coach, or bring in someone from outside the Wizards’ basketball operations department. In these coronavirus pandemic times when cash flow is a concern, that could be something that works in Brooks’ favor from a midseason termination, though there’s a very good chance he won’t be back for next season.

Do you think the Wizards should be quick to fire Brooks if they have a slow start to this season? Let us know what you think about these questions, and the odds below.