Dillon Brooks

Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks Signs Three-Year Extension

11:28pm: The extension is official, the Grizzlies announced on Twitter.

10:51pm: The Grizzlies have reached a three-year, $35MM extension agreement with Dillon Brooks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooks had been on track to reach restricted free agency this summer.

Brooks’ new deal is fully guaranteed without any options, and will be worth $11.4MM in the first year, $12.2MM in the second and $11.4MM in the third, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter links).

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Contract Extension Tracker]

The 24-year-old swingman has been an important part of Memphis’ resurgence and the team’s surprising run at a playoff spot. He’s posting career highs across the board in his third NBA season, averaging 16.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has reclaimed his place in the starting lineup after being limited to 18 games in an injury-plagued 2018/19.

Brooks has also emerged as a vocal leader on the team. He called out Andre Iguodala earlier this week for electing to sit out rather than play for Memphis and said he couldn’t wait to face him on the court once he was traded.

After years of salary-cap issues, the rebuilt Grizzlies now have plenty of room going forward, so Brooks’ salary won’t be an issue. His extension is the first of what should be several long-term deals that Memphis will hand out to its young talent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dillon Brooks On Iguodala: Can’t Wait Until We Trade Him

Before the Grizzlies defeated the Pistons on Monday night, maintaining their hold on the No. 8 seed, a report surfaced suggesting that Andre Iguodala is preparing to sit out the season if he’s not traded to one of his preferred landing spots, or bought out. After Memphis’ win, forward Dillon Brooks weighed in on the Iguodala rumors, as Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal relays.

“Andre Iguodala’s a great player. I feel like he’s doing the right thing for his career, but we don’t really care,” Brooks said. “It’s not a distraction at all. I laugh at that type of stuff.

“A guy that’s on our team that doesn’t want to be on our team,” Brooks continued. “I can’t wait ’til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.”

Although no other Grizzlies players conveyed a similar sentiment to reporters, Brooks’ teammates Ja Morant and De’Anthony Melton published cryptic tweets seemingly supporting his message.

Iguodala was sent from the Warriors to the Grizzlies in a July trade as Golden State cleared salary to bring in D’Angelo Russell. Although that trade was a salary dump that netted Memphis a first-round pick, the Grizzlies are confident Iguodala can be flipped for positive value and has insisted all season long they plan to move him rather than buy him out. The team has until Thursday afternoon to make that happen.

The Grizzlies and Iguodala reportedly reached a mutual agreement in the fall to have him remain away with the team, so the front office has no issue with his absence, but it’s not hard to see why some Grizzlies players may share Brooks’ sentiment.

When Iguodala talked in September about the trade, he recalled predicting in the summer that he’d be moved to “Memphis or some s–t,” implying that it was among the worst possible outcomes. And even as the upstart Grizzlies have outperformed expectations and moved into the playoff picture, the former Finals MVP has shown zero interest in playing for the team.

While a few young Grizzlies players may be eager to show Iguodala what he’s missing out on, veteran forward Jae Crowder took a more measured stance, as Barnes details.

“I would like to keep a lot of stuff in-house but we respect what he’s done,” Crowder said of Iguodala. “He’s a Hall-of-Famer. In my eyes, he’s a Hall-of-Famer. He’s proven in this league, so as long as he handled it like a professional, I believe he is. … I would not say that he’s been a distraction at all. Like I said, he hasn’t been here. But we respect what he wants at this time of his career, and you have to respect it.”

Grizzlies Notes: Iguodala, Brooks, Jackson

We’ve heard all season long that the Grizzlies are confident about their chances of trading veteran swingman Andre Iguodala before the deadline rather than having to buy him out. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, executives around the NBA suspect Memphis’ confidence stems from having an offer from the Mavericks as a fallback option. Such an offer would likely consist of Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract and the Warriors’ second-round pick.

Mavericks sources have “done their best to refute” that idea, per MacMahon. A pair of Dallas-based reporters suggested last month that the Mavs don’t plan on pursuing Iguodala. With the 2020 trade deadline right around the corner, it may just be a matter of days before we find out whether or not that’s a smokescreen. I suspect the Mavs would be willing to trade Golden State’s second-rounder, but perhaps there are targets they like more than Iguodala.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Despite only being drafted in 2017, Dillon Brooks is the longest-tenured Grizzlies player, having endured a roster overhaul and a pair of coaching staff shakeups during his three years in Memphis, writes Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com. In Wallace’s view, Brooks – who has averaged a career-best 16.0 PPG to go along with a .400 3PT% in 47 games this season – has made himself a Most Improved Player candidate as he nears restricted free agency.
  • According to Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins, the team would like to get newly-recalled forward Josh Jackson into its rotation, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. That didn’t happen on Tuesday since Jackson – who has been in the G League all season – had only had one shootaround with the NBA team.
  • If the Grizzlies can keep building on the success they’ve enjoyed so far this season, they’ll end up skipping a long, painful rebuilding process, says Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. As Giannotto observes, every time it seems as if the overachieving Grizzlies might come back to earth, they’ve been doing something else to prove that success is sustainable.

Southwest Notes: Anthony, Zion, Porzingis, Brooks

Carmelo Anthony is downplaying tonight’s return to Houston for the first time since last year’s failed experiment, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Anthony signed with the Rockets last summer, but only played 10 games before being pulled from the rotation. He remained on the roster but away from the team for about two months before being traded to Chicago in January.

Although GM Daryl Morey made several attempts over the years to acquire Anthony, once the Rockets landed him they found his mid-range game wasn’t compatible with their preferred offense.

“I honestly don’t have any feelings about going back,” Anthony said. “I was only there a couple weeks. I don’t really have any type of feelings going back.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Now that No. 1 pick Zion Williamson has a target date for his NBA debut, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer examines how New Orleans will use him during the second half of the season. Despite a dismal start, the Pelicans entered the night just four games out of a playoff spot, and O’Connor notes that 14 of their final 15 games will be against teams with losing records. “I’ve heard the narrative that he shouldn’t play at all, but that would be absurd from where he is,” head of basketball operations David Griffin said. “He’s worked this hard because he intends to play basketball and he wants to lead his guys. He’s going to be an alpha as a vocal presence; you can’t be that when you’re not playing basketball.”
  • After initially being listed as available, Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis was a late scratch for tonight’s game at Sacramento, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. It marks the ninth straight game that Porzingis has missed because of soreness in his right knee, combined with an illness that prevented him from working out for a few days. The team is “playing it safe,” MacMahon adds (Twitter link). Dallas is 4-4 so far without him.
  • Dillon Brooks met the starter criteria by starting his 41st game of the season for the Grizzlies last night, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. As a result, his qualifying offer will increase from $2MM to $3.1MM, which will also be the amount of his free agent cap hold.

Southwest Notes: DeRozan, Brooks, Favors, Mavericks

The Spurs are off to a rough start this season. San Antonio currently sits at the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference with an 11-16 record. Head coach Gregg Popovich has been searching for answers all over the roster lately. This has included shaking up some rotational minutes.

During a tilt against Houston on December 16, Popovich pulled starting shoot guard DeMar DeRozan, the team’s highest earner with a $27.7MM salary this season, with 4:46 left in the game and the Spurs down 101-97. San Antonio had led by as many as 25 points in the first half. Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News notes that DeRozan’s disengaged body language while languishing during the eventual 109-107 loss on the bench was criticized.

Following the criticism, power forward Rudy Gay defended DeRozan’s reaction to the late-game benching, calling the two-time All-NBA selection a “competitor.” DeRozan did stay on the court late to help seal the Spurs’ subsequent game, a 118-105 defeat of the Nets on Thursday. Popovich substituted all starters with 47 seconds left and the victory sewn up.

There’s more out of the Southwest:

  • In his latest mailbag column, The Daily Memphian’s Chris Herrington touches on Dillon Brooks‘ value as a 2020 restricted free agent. Brooks, the 45th pick in the 2017 draft, has been solid in his third NBA season thus far. He has shown his mettle as a long-range shooter for the Grizzlies, connecting on 37.1% of his 4.9 three-point attempts a game this year. He can also defend at a position of need — albeit while getting into foul trouble. Herrington considers Brooks’ best fit on a playoff team to be as a bench scorer. Herrington hopes that Memphis waits out the market for Brooks, and exercises caution if offers from other teams venture significantly beyond the mid-level exception ($9.8MM annually).
  • ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link) reports that Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has lifted the team’s minutes restriction on starting center Derrick Favors. Gentry anticipates Favors playing 25-27 minutes. He has averaged 20.9 minutes a night in 14 games this season.
  • The Mavericks showed off their roster depth beyond starry headliners Luka Doncic (still out with an injury) and Kristaps Porzingis in a 117-98 road win over the Sixers last night. To be fair, Porzingis scored 22 points, pulled down 18 rebounds, and blocked three opponents’ shots. Still, Tim McMahon of ESPN notes that Tim Hardaway, Seth Curry, and even Ryan Broekhoff have had clutch moments for Dallas so far. “We have so many different weapons and so many different guys that can come in,” Porzingis noted after the victory. “I almost feel bad because we have so many guys that can come in, and sometimes they don’t get the opportunity.”

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southwest Division:

Brandon Ingram, Pelicans, 22, SF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $23.8MM deal in 2016
More appropriately, Ingram’s stock is way, way up. Ingram’s last season with the Lakers was cut short by a blood clot issue. He averaged 18.3 PPG but there was still skepticism just how good Ingram was. He’s answered that emphatically in his first 13 games with the Pelicans, posting All-Star level numbers (26.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, 45.9 percent on 3s). The Pelicans will make him a restricted free agent by extending a $9.48MM qualifying offer. Will Ingram re-sign with New Orleans, sign a big offer sheet, or sign the QO and test unrestricted free agency the following summer? For sure, he’ll get paid.

Courtney Lee, Mavericks, 34, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $48MM deal in 2016
Lee’s value to Dallas is mainly his expiring contract, which could prove useful as the Mavs look to acquire another piece to their vastly improved squad. Lee’s playing time has been mainly limited to garbage-time minutes. After two solid seasons with the Knicks, Lee’s career has declined the past two seasons. His 3-point prowess (38.7 percent for his career) might earn him a short-term deal next summer but he won’t be making anywhere near $12MM next season.

Gerald Green, Rockets, 33, SG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2019
Have we seen the last of Green in the NBA? That’s a strong possibility, considering his age and long-term rehab from a foot injury. He underwent surgery in late October and is expected to miss the regular season and likely the postseason as well. Green, a 12-year NBA veteran, has made prior stops with Boston, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, New Jersey, Indiana, Phoenix and Miami during his professional career. He was a major contributor off the Rockets’ bench last season, averaging 9.2 PPG and 2.5 PPG in 73 contests. Another veteran’s minimum deal is his best hope.

Marco Belinelli, Spurs, 33, SG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $12MM deal in 2018
Belinelli’s perimeter shooting has made him one of the league’s most reliable second-unit players for years. The shooting touch has abandoned him, one of the many reasons the Spurs have struggled this season. Belinelli is shooting just 29 percent from the field while averaging 5.2 PPG. He has averaged in double figures off the bench for the past four seasons. Gregg Popovich has continued to give him steady minutes, so Bellinelli’s production should return to the norm. But if his playing time is reduced, he may have to settle for the veteran’s minimum next summer.

Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies, 23, SF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.8MM deal in 2017
Brooks was limited to 18 games last season, mainly due to a toe injury that required surgery in January. He has come back at full strength and started every game this season for the Grizzlies. He’s the team’s third-leading scorer at 13.3 PPG while making 38.7 percent of his 3-pointers. It’s a foregone conclusion the Grizzlies will extend a $2MM qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent this summer. The 2017 second-round pick will get a substantial pay raise regardless of how his free agent journey unfolds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Brooks, Rockets, Gordon, Porzingis

Next summer’s qualifying tournaments for the 2020 Olympics will take place between June 23-28, right before NBA free agency begins. Although the timing isn’t ideal, Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks – who will be a restricted free agent in July – has expressed a desire to suit up for Team Canada during those qualifying games, as Carlan Gay of NBA.com Canada relays.

“I plan on being there, I plan on playing regardless of if I get a contract or whatever happens,” Brooks said. “I’m going to play for Team Canada because you know I missed out this year and I really want to play and make it to the Olympics.”

The Grizzlies have been significantly better with Brooks on the court this season, posting a +0.1 net rating when he plays and a -16.6 mark when he sits. That bodes well for the third-year forward, who is looking to solidify his place as a reliable NBA rotation player after missing much of last season due to knee and toe injuries.

“I just want to challenge myself to take it professionally and get better because the life expectancy in the NBA is only like three or four years,” Brooks said. “I want to get to my next contract and solidify myself.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Rockets have no immediate plans to fill the roster spot that opened after they released Ryan Anderson on Monday, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. However, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle notes (via Twitter) that the club is planning to eventually have to convert two-way player Chris Clemons to a standard contract.
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon, who underwent a procedure on his knee last week, said he has been dealing with that injury for “almost a year.” It got worse recently and Gordon is relieved to have addressed it via surgery (video link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). The veteran guard said his goal is to return by around Christmas, which matches the six-week recovery timeline initially announced by the team.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis and team owner Mark Cuban have called Dallas a “perfect match” for KP, as Chris Mannix of SI.com details. Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports argues that the Mavs may be a better fit than the Knicks were for Porzingis because the big man is more suited to supporting a franchise player – like Luka Doncic – than being that franchise player himself.

Southwest Notes: Caboclo, Brooks, Wright, DeRozan

The move toward small-ball lineups throughout the league has convinced the Grizzlies to often utilize Bruno Caboclo as an undersized center, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic reports. Caboclo needs to show his versatility to stay on the roster, since his salary of $1,845,301 doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10. He played 34 games with Memphis last season, including 19 starts.

“We’ll probably utilize him in a lot of different spots, four and five,” Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We put him at (center) in Summer League and are just really getting him comfortable offensively where he has to be at his spots on the floor.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Dillon Brooks is looking to secure the shooting guard spot in the Grizzlies‘ lineup after an injury-marred second year in his NBA career, Michael Wallace of the team’s website writes. He appeared in all 82 games as a rookie but lost his starting spot last season, then wound up playing just 18 games due to a toe injury that required season-ending surgery. “It really humbled me and made me take the game more professionally,” Brooks said of last season to Wallace. “At first, with the glitz and glamour and all that other stuff, it kind of came too fast to me. Once it got taken away, it was like, ‘I’ve got to be serious. Be professional, but still have fun with it and understand that (basketball) always comes first.’ That’s what I’ve been doing throughout the summer.”
  • Delon Wright believes he’ll have a breakout season after joining the Mavericks in a sign-and-trade with the Grizzlies, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News relays. “I feel like I’m at that point of my career where it’s time,” Wright said. Wright, who could be paired in the backcourt with Luka Doncic, received a three-year deal worth just over $30MM.
  • An extension might be the way to go for both the Spurs and DeMar DeRozan, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express News opines. A report surfaced on Friday that the two parties were in extension talks. As previously noted, the 30-year-old DeRozan could get a maximum of approximately $149MM over four years, starting in 2020/21. That would require him to decline his 2020/21 player option and replace it with the first year of the extension.

Grizzlies’ Morant Ready For Camp; Melton Out 4-8 Weeks

The Grizzlies issued a series of injury updates on their players this afternoon, most notably announcing that No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant will be ready to fully participate in training camp next week. Morant, who sat out Summer League, is recovered from the minor arthroscopic procedure he underwent on his right knee in June, according to the team.

The Grizzlies also confirmed that Kyle Anderson (thoracic outlet decompression surgery), Dillon Brooks (toe surgery), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh bruise) are good to go for training camp. Brooks and Jackson were dubbed “fully recovered,” while Memphis said that Anderson is “progressing as expected” in his recovery.

It wasn’t all good news for the Grizzlies though. According to the club, newly-acquired guard De’Anthony Melton has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his back. The former Sun is undergoing off-loading and treatment to resolve the injury, and is expected to recover and resume basketball activities in about four to eight weeks.

Melton, the 46th overall pick in the 2018 draft, was traded from Houston to Phoenix a couple months after being drafted, then was dealt from the Suns to the Grizzlies earlier this summer. The 21-year-old averaged 5.0 PPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.7 RPG in 50 games (19.7 MPG) as a rookie and is expected to be Memphis’ third point guard behind Morant and Tyus Jones this season.

First though, he’ll have to get healthy. And with the Grizzlies’ opener less than four weeks away, it appears Melton will almost certainly miss the start of the regular season.

Team Canada Dealing With Depleted Roster

Much has been made of the withdrawals from Team USA by prominent players as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup in China this summer. Team Canada has experienced similar issues.

Canada Basketball unveiled its training camp roster in a press release and many notable names are missing. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Luguentz Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Mfiondu Kabengele, Naz Mitrou-Long, Trey Lyles, Dwight Powell, Marial Shayok, Nik Stauskas, and Tristan Thompson were among the invitees who opted not to participate.

Knicks lottery pick RJ Barrett and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray are on the roster but will only participate in training camp. Barrett is dealing with a mild calf strain, while Murray is nursing an ankle injury, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Among the NBA players who are on the roster and intend to participate in the tournament are Kings guard Cory Joseph, Heat forward Kelly Olynyk, Magic center Khem Birch and Raptors big man Chris Boucher. Toronto’s Nick Nurse is the head coach of the team, which will play seven exhibition games before its FIBA opener against Australia on September 1.