Houston Rockets: Dillon Brooks drops in small forward rankings

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four
Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Coming off his best all-around season in 2021-22, Dillon Brooks found life to be more challenging in 2022-23.

Brooks had the worst true shooting percentage of his career, which is the best gauge of how efficient a player is offensively. The 27-year-old forward was forced to deal with dysfunction and chaos with the Memphis Grizzlies, including a suspension for their star player, Ja Morant.

In a recent article chronicling the premier small forwards in the NBA, Brooks ranked 22nd by HoopsHype’s Frank Urbina. 

The ranking represents a one-spot improvement from just one year ago. Urbina's assessment is below.

"A very poor playoff showing and a touch of scapegoatism, as well as a potential overpay by the Houston Rockets this summer (four years, $86 million), have led Dillon Brooks to be entering his first year with a new team as his time with the Grizzlies is now over. Brooks did experience success with Memphis, turning into one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA while being a decent scorer at times, but his inefficiency, especially in 2022-23, was becoming hard to ignore. 

Still, overall, Brooks was a positive-impact player during his time with the Grizzlies. It’ll just be interesting to note how Brooks behaves on offense on a team with less established weapons than the Grizzlies had. Will he become an even bigger shot-chucker? Or will his shot selection and efficiency improve?"

Houston Rockets: Dillon Brooks drops in small forward rankings

Urbina added that Brooks had the third-worst true shooting percentage among players with at least 500 field goal attempts, while also pointing out that Brooks' Grizzlies were outscored by 10.4 points per 100 possessions when the All-Defensive forward was on the floor in the postseason.

It seems important to note that the Rockets wouldn't have signed Brooks if they felt that he was going to be a "shot-chucker." Brooks struggled in the postseason, as he seemingly got caught up in the positional battle with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James. 

That happens. 

Especially with LeBron. Should we hold that against Brooks?

Furthermore, Urbina seems to hold Brooks' salary against him in his evaluation, which he also did to the Rockets' newly-signed free-agent guard Fred VanVleet

Which is what I really have a problem with. 

A player's salary doesn't factor into how one evaluates their contributions on the court.

At least it shouldn't.

The good thing for Rockets fans is that Brooks is an extremely prideful player, so ranking 22nd in his position doesn't seem like something that will sit well with him.

Let's hope that's how he takes this ranking.