In a subtle way, Memphis general manager Zach Kleiman has given a clear indication why the franchise won’t be resigning Dillon Brooks this offseason.
“We’re going to take a different approach as it pertains to [trash talk] next season,” Kleiman said Sunday during the team’s exit interviews. “You’ll see a different approach from this team, but at the same time, confidence is important. … There’s a line there, certainly.”
Brooks is the longest-serving member on the Grizzlies roster and in his exit interview he made it very clear that he isn’t going to change any part of his game, including the trash talking.
“I don’t regret it. I’m a competitor. I compete,” Brooks said “… So I’m not going to change. I’m going to keep doing what I do and get better.”
During the exit interviews, Kleiman again spoke about Brooks without mentioning him specifically, when he touched on “self-created distractions” in Round 1 against the Lakers.
Since returning from his suspension in March, Ja Morant has very much toned down the trash talking and says it’s not in his game plan moving forward, so it seems that the team are going in a direction that won’t suit Brooks at all.
“The Memphis Grizzlies have informed pending unrestricted free agent Dillon Brooks that he will not be brought back under any circumstances…,”League sources told The Athletic.
“After his tumultuous end to the season, Brooks was told about the Grizzlies’ decision to move on in exit meetings with team officials in recent days…Memphis and Brooks discussed in exit meetings that it’s best for both sides to have a fresh start, sources added.”
When he was asked by reporters specifically about Brooks, Kleiman responded with: “I’ll hit on DB another day. Nothing I can comment on for now with him going into free agency.”
The six-season forward totally embarrassed himself when he called out LeBron, calling him “old” but then when LeBron and the Lakers responded on the court, Brooks couldn’t take the heat and declined to speak to the media in three of the series losses – which resulted in a $25,o000 fine.
He also hit LeBron in the groin during Game 3 which got ejected and during critical moments in Game 4, was unable to lock James up on defense.
During the postseason, Brooks averaged a disappointing 10.5 points, three rebounds and 1.8 assists on just 31.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Kleiman told media on Sunday that the franchise will is going to be “very aggressive” in the offseason, so it seems the writing is on the wall for Brooks.