NBA rumors: Rockets interested in signing extremely controversial free agent

The Houston Rockets turned heads by hiring Ime Udoka and they could turn heads again with this free agent signing.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have had a very interesting offseason thus far. Houston first made headlines by hiring Ime Udoka to pilot the next era of the franchise and has continued making headlines since. In the 2023 NBA Draft, the Rockets were the lucky team to take a chance on sliding Cam Whitmore, who ended up falling all the way to 20.

The next step for Houston this summer is free agency. Houston is one of few teams in the league that has ample cap space to spend and fans may see an influx of talent with the Rockets wanting to give Udoka a roster he can compete with. While the free-agent class is thin, there are still some exciting names to pursue.

There are also polarizing options to pursue, which the Rockets seemingly are not ruling out either. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle recently laid out the free-agent targets that Houston is reportedly weighing this offseason and there was one very interesting name that was in the sea of other potential candidates for Houston: Dillon Brooks.

"According to a person with knowledge of their thinking, they have interest in the Bucks’ Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, the Nuggets’ Bruce Brown, the Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers’ Rui Hachimura and Austin Reeves, the Nets' Cam Johnson, the Warriors’ Donte DiVincenzo, the Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks, the Raptors’ Jakob Poeltl and the Mavericks’ Dwight Powell."

NBA Rumors: Rockets interested in signing Dillon Brooks in free agency

For those unaware, Dillon Brooks has been one of the biggest villains in the NBA in recent years. Brooks has gone at it with several of the game's top stars as he has done his best Lance Stephenson circa 2013 impression on the Grizzlies.

It all came crashing down for Brooks during the NBA Playoffs as he "poked the bear" (LeBron James) and looked silly as a result. LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers made quick work of the Grizzlies with Brooks being one of the worst players in the series.

It was so bad that the Grizzlies outright confirmed they weren't going to bring Brooks back after being eliminated. Brooks did everything he could to tank his value in free agency in the NBA Playoffs as his stock has never been lower.

That being said, there is still value in bringing Brooks in, especially if his price did plummet and the Rockets can sign him for cheap. This young group of players could use a high-energy role player that can serve as the team's veteran enforcer. Sure, it didn't look great for Brooks in the playoffs, but guys like Patrick Beverley and Marcus Smart have made careers out of this role.

Udoka could be the coach that gets the most out of Brooks after he got the most out of Smart. Smart had the best year of his career under Udoka, winning Defensive Player of the Year. Brooks may not reach that level but he could end up being very impactful for this Rockets team.

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