Detroit Pistons: Is There A Case For Dillon Brooks In Free Agency?
The Detroit Pistons are at an intersection of the rebuild where the margin of error is pretty close to zero. Heading into free agency number four Troy Weaver has identified the teams top need — a defensive minded wing, who can also space the floor.
This hole was created when defensive ace Jerami Grant was traded which opened the way for the Bojan Bogdanovic acquisition. Many observers believed with the emergence of Saddiq Bey, and the hot shooting of Bogdanovic that the Pistons improved. But the season proved otherwise as the defense took a few steps backward to start, then fell off a cliff.
A plus wing defender won’t solve everything, but would be a great step at bolstering the teams biggest weakness. Players like the Cam Johnson, Grant Williams and even a reunion with Jerami Grant would all fill the void but it will be competitive and pricey to gain their services.
So What About Dillon Brooks?
Dillon Brooks had a very loud season on the court and off in regard to his pre and post game antics. The six foot seven inch small forward made an impression during a contract year, though it’s still to be seen exactly what type. He averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 32.6% from three on six attempts per game.
More than a basketball player at times Brooks seemed to embody the spirit of wrestling. He would even wear a tank top, jeans, and sun glasses with a “DB” chain to top off the look. The pregame dances became a pop culture hit that saw teammates join Brooks in the festivities, and the teams popularity rise.
Ja Morant is the big star in Memphis, but Dillon Brooks found a way to have his name in the media mix.
On the court his defense was just as in your face with the ability to cover multiple positions, which is where the jokes stop.
Dillon Brooks fits a need on a Detroit Pistons team sorely lacking talent despite a good foundation of youth. And defensively he would’ve had the best rating (113.8) of any Piston with Jalen Duren (115.6) second according to NBA Stat Muse.
Thought is can he be a Lance Stephenson type player who could defend multiple positions while also being an all world agitator. Brooks hasn’t quite proved to be the level of bear poker that players like Stephenson and Metta Sandiford-Artest were. For most of the season Brooks’ antics paid dividends, but in the playoffs it didn’t quite hold the same weight.
Will Brooks career trajectory be more like the regular season, or the playoffs where opponents seemed to have figured him out?
Dillon Brooks is considered a “Three and D” player meaning he can space the floor shooting and play above average defense. But when looking at the outside shooting numbers with Brooks it dampens the thought just a bit.
This season was a strange one offensively for Brooks who saw declines in several shooting stats. His free throw, assists and two point percentages declined while three point jumped from 31% to 32.6%. But the last three seasons have been his worst from behind the arc in his six year career and things got worse under playoff pressure.
Brooks’ offensive numbers could have been effected by the lowest usage rate he’s had in the last four seasons. His rate of 21.8 is seven percent lower than last season meaning his role changed a lot. Less creation as his assist rate dropped four percent, and more being set up by his teammates to better accommodate star Ja Morant.
Offensively the Pistons would need more from behind the arc, but defensively Brooks would be the best on the team. But is that enough for a player who was rumored to ruffle the feathers of opposing teams as well as his own? For most the regular season and playoffs Dillon Brooks made everything about Dillon Brooks, which didn’t help the Grizzlies.
That might not be the distraction this Pistons team needs while still trying to find traction. But beggars can’t be choosers in this case where talent is needed all over the roster. For the right price Brooks may be a good option, but it’s rumored he may want a hefty raise this summer. And as the price goes up, so do the concerns of the hit to team chemistry and the culture Troy Weaver is aiming to build.