Dillon Brooks is one of the NBA’s more polarizing players.
Although his year ended about as poorly as any can, free agency promises to be quite lucrative for him over the next few months.
This past season Brooks averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. While he maintained his trademark defensive tenacity for a lot of the year, he did not earn an NBA All-Defensive First Team nod. He wound up on the Second Team.
Moreover, Brooks also shot a career-worst 39.6 percent from the field along the way.
In the first round of the playoffs, against the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooks averaged 10.5 points per game and shot 23.8 percent from three.
All of which is to say, there is a reason the Memphis Grizzlies decided to move on from him and acquire Marcus Smart instead. He does everything Brooks does – but better.
At the moment, it appears there are three legitimate candidates vying for Brooks’ services.
Report: Milwaukee, Houston, and Dallas have serious interest in Dillon Brooks. pic.twitter.com/06xejrcK3t
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 26, 2023
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Rockets are a serious potential suitor to watch when it comes to Brooks.
“The Rockets’ interest in Brooks, meanwhile, appears to be even more clear-cut, with one league source insisting Monday that Houston should be labeled as the favorite to sign the talkative swingman whose playoff struggles and the team tension they spawned swiftly prompted the Memphis Grizzlies to move on from him,” he wrote.
Given that the Rockets were one of the league’s worst defensive teams last year, the interest in Brooks makes sense. He could be a poor man’s Smart for Ime Udoka, who obviously maximized Smart’s potential during his time with the Boston Celtics.
Stein also reported that Brooks was seeking more than just the $12.4 million mid-level exception this offseason. Some reports suggest he is looking for considerably more.
The Mavericks make a lot of sense, too. Both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have spoken openly about the defensive woes the team faced towards the end of the year. Brooks would help with that to some degree.
That said – there are definitely some reasons to doubt this union could work.
Milwaukee also appears to be a sensible option for all parties involved. Brooks is obviously a kooky character, but so is Grayson Allen. And the Bucks transformed him from hated dirty player to loveable role player who goes viral with his wife on the beach. The same image makeover could occur with Brooks.
Bronny reacts to his girl’s wild vacation photos. https://t.co/cjAkMre9pr
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 27, 2023
It’s just a matter of how much the Bucks are willing to pay to bolster their perimeter defense.
One way or another, Brooks will be playing in a different uniform next season. Whose uniform will it be? An answer to that question will emerge over the next few months.