The real reason why the Grizzlies moved on from Dillon Brooks

Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /

This summer, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to part ways with long-tenured wing and defensive stalwart Dillon Brooks, as they agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets for his services.

To many, this transaction is viewed as a smart one for GM Zach Kleiman and company to have made, however, their reasoning for doing so has generally been up for debate.

Until now.

During a recent appearance on The Lowe Post Podcast, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon delved into the “primary” grounds for Brooks’ dismissal this offseason.

"“I think the reasons the Grizzlies were ready to move on from him are misunderstood,”  MacMahon said. “The nonsense was kind of like at a point where culturally it was time. That was not the primary reason. The primary reason the Grizzlies were trying to replace Dillon Brooks for a full two years, repeatedly going after players that would have replaced him in the trade market, and he probably would have been sent out, was because of the shot selection issue. Dillon did not want to be a fourth or fifth offensive weapon.”"

Though it has been a widely accepted theory amongst the media and Memphis’ fan base that his on-court antics during the 2022-23 campaign, some that resulted in suspension, were a leading cause for the Grizzlies’ desires to move on, MacMahon suggests that it was his shooting efficiency (or lack thereof) that proved to be the ultimate kicker, which is a relatively easy notion to accept.

This past season, Dillon Brooks shot a putrid 39.6 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from deep despite hoisting up the third (13.6) and second (6.0) most attempts on the team, respectively.

While the wing suggests that he now expects to see an uptick in shooting productivity in Houston with the pairing of him and star guard Fred VanVleet, history shows that this is by no means a guarantee.

As far as replacement options are concerned, while the club may not have landed one directly, former Grizzlies star big man Zach Randolph recently tabbed veteran Marcus Smart as being somewhat of “a match,” particularly when it comes to his defensive efforts and tenacity.