After an unceremonious exit from the Memphis Grizzlies, forward Dillon Brooks has found a new home. Brooks and the Houston Rockets have reportedly agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal will be would have to be a sign and trade that gives the Grizzlies an important trade exception to use going forward.
Brooks, 27, had a relatively successful six-season stint at Memphis, capping it off with a berth to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team last season. He averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season as the Grizzlies climbed to the second seed in the Western Conference. Brooks has averaged 14.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists since 2017.
But he became more known for his on-field antics than his production. He led the league with 18 technical fouls in the regular season, was fined a total of $363,863 throughout the season (fourth in the NBA), and was suspended three times (twice for too many technical fouls and once for an altercation with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell).
Brooks’ poor decisions also carried over to the playoffs. He was suspended one game after flagrantly fouling Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II in the 2022 Western Conference semifinals. Brooks also had multiple confrontations with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron. James, in the 2022-23 playoffs. He later blamed the media for making him look like a villain.
That extra attention with the Lakers coincided with a sharp drop in form for Brooks, who bit off more than he could chew on offense. In six games, Brooks shot 31.6% from the field and 23.8% from deep.
It all added up to an ignominious exit from the Grizzlies, who apparently weren’t interested in re-signing Brooks “under any circumstances.”
Rockets are a different challenge for Dillon Brooks
The Rockets offer Brooks a new home and a different challenge. The 27-year-old is going from 50 straight seasons at Memphis to a rebuild still trying to take off after three miserable straight years.
Houston’s future is built on the futures of Alperen Sengun, Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Amen Thompson, but now it looks like he’s moving for the present as well. The team had already signed a new head coach in Ime Udoka, landed former Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet on a three-year, $130 million deal, former Phoenix Suns big man Jock added. Landale. another multi-year contract And exchange against the old Patty Mills.
Brooks gives the Rockets a likely starter at small forward and a defensive presence the team has sorely lacked in the recent past. We’ll see if he tries to give them anything beyond that, which is where it started to go wrong in the playoffs.