Memphis Grizzlies Draft Prospects: Dillon Brooks

As the Memphis Grizzlies are sitting without a draft pick, they could still land one through a trade. Could Oregon’s Dillon Brooks be a potential prospect?

Because of a trade for Jon Leuer, the Memphis Grizzlies won’t have a first-round draft pick. No surprise, right? As the Grizzlies have zero trade assets, a trade into the first round is unlikely. However, a plethora of 2018 second-round picks, Brandan Wright or Jarell Martin could get them into the second round. If the Grizzlies go down that route, they should pursue Oregon’s Dillon Brooks. He has an unique ability to score the ball in multiple ways, a player they’ve needed for years. Can he overcome a lack of athleticism to become an efficient NBA scorer? Could he be on the Grizzlies’ radar?

Offensive Versatility

At Oregon, Dillon Brooks proved that he could score the basketball as he averaged 16 points a game last season. In addition, he showed off his long-range shooting ability (40.4 percent), something that the Memphis Grizzlies should salivate over.

Brooks’ rare ability to score all over the court is enticing. Despite the lack of explosion and length (6’6″ wingspan), he was still efficient from inside the arc as he shot 52.6 percent on 2-point baskets. He also was an elite 1-on-1 player in college, ranking in Synergy’s 91th percentile in isolation offense.

While that aspect of his game is surely intriguing, could he keep it up in the pros? Without above-average athleticism or wingspan, Brooks could find himself in trouble when it comes to scoring the basketball.

Small-Ball 4?

As a stretch-4, Dillon Brooks has the skill-set to punish slower opponents. With his lethal 3-point stroke, he can catch opponents off guard as they’re more focused on help defense. If they decide to close out on them, he can choose to attack the basket where he’ll either punch one in or get to the foul line. While this all worked at Oregon, it’s difficult to see how it’ll work out in the NBA. The 4s in the NBA are superior athletes over college big men. Brooks must work on his explosiveness if he wants to become an efficient small-ball 4 at the next level.

The most interesting aspect of this video was Brooks’ usage in the high post. The Memphis Grizzlies often run sets through Gasol at the high post. If they were to do such with Brooks, it’d open up opportunities for athletic big men like Deyonta Davis, Brandan Wright or Jarell Martin to find easy chances in the paint.

Lastly, his playmaking is fascinating as he averaged 2.7 assists (4.3 per 40 minutes) last season. If this part of his game can translate to NBA success, he’ll find a way to last in the league. In the video, he showed an uncanny ability to find open shots or alley oops to his teammates. Though he doesn’t possess his size, his playmaking is somewhat similar to Draymond Green. Both can dish the rock in many ways on the court, whether it’s a drive-and-kick, pick-and-roll or give-and-go.

While Brooks may not have Green’s size or defensive ability, his playmaking could be beneficial to a Grizzly team that desperately needs secondary facilitators.

Best-Case Scenario

The Memphis Grizzlies trade into the second round, without giving up Wright or Martin, to acquire Dillon Brooks. After spending a little bit of time in the G-League, he’s ready to contribute as a combo forward off the bench. Because of his shooting and playmaking abilities, Fizdale finds ample time for him in the second unit.

Throughout his career, he serves as a multi-positional playmaker, like Shaun Livingston, while possessing a lethal outside stroke.

Worst-Case Scenario

His lack of athleticism and defensive prowess hurts him as he’s unable to create his own shot. As a tweener, he’s too slow to guard perimeter players and too small to defend big men. He may last in the league a little bit, but he’d be nothing more than a shooting specialist.

Most-likely Scenario

Brooks’ 3-point stroke and passing somewhat translate to the NBA, but his lack of decent athleticism hinder him from moving past “role player off the bench” status.

The Memphis Grizzlies may not have a pick but tune in on June 22nd to see if they make some moves on draft night.