Fans of the Houston Rockets can expect a much different version of their team taking the court next season. Not only is Ime Udoka taking over as head coach, the Rockets also have a new starting point guard, signing All-Star Fred VanVleet to a three-year, $130 million contract that makes him one of the highest-paid players in the NBA.
But the Rockets aren’t done. After coming nowhere close to the NBA Playoffs in any of the past three seasons, Houston is hoping to launch past their recent marks in 2023.
Their latest venture reportedly includes reaching a sign-and-trade agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies for swingman Dillon Brooks. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $80 million contract.
Interestingly, Brooks’ contract has a declining value instead of one that increases. This allows the Rockets to save their future cash to pay their superstars while getting the higher dollar amounts on Brooks’ salary out of the way early on.
The Grizzlies will receive a trade exception in exchange for Brooks. This will allow flexibility for Memphis to take on a player similar in contract value to Brooks’ new salary via trade if they can find a willing partner in the next calendar year.
Oddly enough, Brooks entered the NBA as the 45th pick in the 2017 draft with the Rockets but was traded on draft day to the Grizzlies instead. After six seasons in Memphis, helping the Grizzlies reach the playoffs three times, the 27-year-old Brooks is cashing in.
- Dillon Brooks stats last season: 14.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 39% FG, 32% 3PT
Despite being a second-round pick, Brooks has developed into a scrappy two-way player who impacts both ends of the floor. Still just 27 years old, yet having 22 games of starting experience in the NBA playoffs, Brooks brings another much-needed veteran to the young Rockets locker room.