4 players that don't belong on the Rockets' roster

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1. Dillon Brooks

I know. There’s justification for Brooks to be on the Rockets’ roster.

Incoming coach Ime Udoka wanted to reshape the team’s identity by emphasizing the defensive side of the floor and Brooks is legitimately one of the best wing defenders in the league.

He's a pest who suffocates opponents and his stocky build only makes matters worse for opponents. And he plays with an edge that can be infectious when channeled correctly.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the drawbacks.

Offensively, he’s an unreliable shooter, as he made just 30.9 percent of his threes in 2021-22, followed by 32.6 percent last season. And it’s not like the volume and attempts were down, as Brooks has taken no fewer than five long-range attempts per game in each of the last four seasons. But it’s not just that.

Brooks also made just 45.1 percent of his two-pointers. And let’s just gloss right over the true shooting numbers (49.4 percent).

The Rockets overpaid for a unreliable shooter, hoping that he’ll fit the 3-and-D archetype. The problem with that is that Brooks himself has admitted that he doesn’t want that role. He wants to be featured more offensively, and again, based on his shooting splits, why would he be?

The Rockets would have been better suited to start Tari Eason, who is already a better player than Brooks offensively. Defensively, he’s not quite to Brooks’ level yet but he could be just as good as Brooks, based on his measurables, strengths, and emphasis on that end of the floor.

The Rockets can only hope the Brooks experiment works out, because it could get ugly if it doesn’t, as they’d likely have a hard time finding another team to bail them out by trading for him, due to his bloated, fully-guaranteed contract.