This past summer, the Memphis Grizzlies endured quite a few shakeups to their talent pool, seeing players coming and going like the ocean’s tide.
Easily the most noteworthy departee was veteran wing Dillon Brooks, who, following a rough 2022-23 campaign filled with career-low shooting efficiency (39.6 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent from deep) and bear-poking shenanigans, was sign-and-traded to the Houston Rockets on July 8 to the tune of a four-year, $86 million pact.
While first reactions amongst fans and pundits alike slammed the agreement as being the biggest overpay of the offseason and, thus, a good move made by the Grizzlies organization, fast-forward just over four months later and it appears the Rockets are shockingly getting their money’s worth with Brooks now in tow while head coach Taylor Jenkins simultaneously struggles to find a quality replacement.
In response to the 27-year-old’s impressive play, Joe Mullinax of the Locked on Grizzlies podcast dove into the idea that perhaps it was how Memphis opted to use him as a focal point in the offense, and not Brooks himself, that’s to blame for his lackluster production toward the tail end of his career in the 38103.
Memphis Grizzlies ‘broke’ Dillon Brooks during his tenure
"“The Memphis Grizzlies broke [Dillon Brooks],” Mullinax said. “They asked him to be something that he was not capable of being offensively from the beginning and it was going to take him going somewhere else to achieve higher levels of offensive success.”"
As the show rolled on, Mullinax’s co-host Damichael Cole broke down precisely why he believes Brooks has played so well to start the season, and mainly highlighted the fact that he is now predominantly being utilized as a 3-and-D commodity within the Rockets’ scheme rather than having gone from the viewpoint and mentality of being a foundational piece to a mere role player throughout his six seasons in Memphis.
Through nine games played in Houston, Brooks is boasting impressive averages of 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting an electric 55.1 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from deep.