It all started with this report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania on the Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks:
The Memphis Grizzlies have informed pending free agent Dillon Brooks that he will not be brought back under any circumstances, league sources say.
Full story and details at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/CRztYTgYi7
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 2, 2023
Brooks is an unrestricted free agent this summer and his return to the Grizzlies was considered unlikely by league sources before the playoffs started.
However, the phrasing that the Grizzlies didn’t want him back “under any circumstances” was surprising. Brooks’ agent took a shot at the report and Charania on Twitter.
@ShamsCharania the leader of spreading false news and attacking players. Why any player in the league talks to this guy blows my mind. #weirdo https://t.co/Coj2b0aY6E
— Mike George (@MikeGTdot) May 3, 2023
While there is no way someone in Brooks’ camp would say something like “under no circumstances” it’s also not a phrasing a team front office person would use. There is always a circumstance, a price where the Grizzlies would welcome back Brooks (it’s just not a price Brooks would accept). ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said as much on his podcast:
“I hate speculating about somebody else’s sources but I can tell you the Grizzlies did not want the messaging out there of basically “Dillon Brooks is the scapegoat, we’re dumping Dillon Brooks and everything’s gonna be fine.”
Charania is well-sourced and a good reporter, this didn’t come out of nowhere. Just remember as we head into the offseason, every leak is really someone trying to spin a story.
There will be demand for Brooks’ services — he is an elite on-ball defender. His shot needs to fall more often and he can be a distraction — two things that may drive down his value on the market — but he has an NBA skill set. He will play somewhere and be well-paid for it.
Where that is remains to be seen, but someone is already trying to spin the market.