Dillon Brooks is not returning to the Memphis Grizzlies next season, the feeling to part ways is reportedly mutual.
Memphis and Brooks didn’t reach terms on a contract extension last summer, reportedly in part because Brooks wanted more than the 3&D role he filled for the Grizzlies (although the lack of the 3 part, 32.6% last season, is a key part of why Memphis is looking elsewhere). Here is now Shams Charania of The Athletic put it on Wednesday:
Brooks, sources say, turned down an extension offer earlier this season and has said publicly he is looking for a bigger role than the 3-and-D one he has been playing in Memphis. An early look around at his market does indicate there will be some interest in his services around the league.
“Some” interest is an interesting phrasing. Brooks brings an elite skill to the table as an on-ball defender, but there are holes in his game that can limit him in the playoffs — he was going to lose minutes to Luke Kennard in the Lakers’ series before a shoulder injury sidelined Kennard for Game 6. Plus, teams are wary of bringing in a player they fear will be a distraction.
Who would be interested?
There’s nothing solid, but we can speculate about teams who could use a defensive wing and might take on the baggage. Houston, a team looking to make a leap next year and get better on defense, is the kind of team that might have an interest. Would a Sacramento team needing defense consider bringing in Brooks and believing he can add an edge to their culture (and play within it)? What about Indiana? Detroit? It will be interesting to see which teams emerge.
The market may be a little thin, but someone will pay Brooks. It just won’t be Memphis.