You may have seen this series of tweets
Jonathan, Luke, whoever tweeted these at me, this article is your fault. So here you all go, why Dillon Brooks should be a member of the Orlando Magic come Opening Night 2023.
The Memphis Grizzlies will not bring back Dillon Brooks "under any circumstances." So, why should Brooks be an Orlando Magic player? Why should a guy who's second in the NBA in technical fouls join this team? Why should Jeff Weltman and company recruit a man who many joke (or are serious?) should be playing for the Shanghai Sharks next season? The answer is simple: we need a villain. This place is "by fans, for fans". As this Magic team gets more wins, there will be more fans, but the downside is some of those will be bandwagon fans. Brooks's propensity for mischief without merrymaking would scare off any casuals leeching onto the fringes of this fanbase. Does anybody outside of Memphis really like the Grizzlies? I'm not the fandom police, but I can't think of anybody I know (and believe me, I know everybody on Earth), and one of the strongest reasons for this is Brooks's hotheadedness.
Brooks is also willing to talk a bit of trash and engage in a little bit of fisticuffs every now and again, something Moe Wagner used to engage in from time to time. The elder Wagner brother didn't show a ton of this after getting clocked by Killian Hayes, and he could leave in free agency this summer too. Every great team has somebody willing to do the dirty work, (the entire Bad Boys Pistons, Charles Oakley, Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Matt Barnes, and Draymond Green for example) and Brooks can be that guy on a team full of goofballs who don't seem like they'd hurt a fly. Caleb Houstan could also use a fellow Canadian, too.
Let's look at a few actual basketball reasons. Since WeltHam took over the basketball operations side of things (and when Rob Hennigan was here for that matter) Orlando has always put an emphasis on defense. Defense has always been Brooks's calling card, and he had his best year on this side of the ball by posting a career-high 2.4 defensive win shares. This year he was voted to an All-Defensive team for the first time in his career too. Since WeltHam took over the basketball operations side of things (and when Rob Hennigan was here for that matter) Orlando has not seemed to care about outside shooting, and Brooks fits right in here too, but flashes some potential to improve there. Last year highlights of him launching bricks made the rounds on social media. But did you know he actually improved his three point shooting over the year prior? Yup, up from 30.9% last year to 32.6% in 2023. He's been in a two year long shooting slump. His career mark of 34.2% from three is actually below his average the first four seasons of career. The Magic as a team shot 34.6% from three this year, so Brooks can either fit right in with everyone else or at the least add a slight bump to the percentages from downtown.
The Magic are an insanely young team. Michael Carter-Williams, who may not be back next year, is the only guy on the roster over 26 years old. The young rising star duo of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner will be 22 and 20 years old when next season starts. The entire Magic roster has 64 games of playoff experience combined, and 28 of those date back to Gary Harris's time as a Denver Nugget. Of those 64 playoff games, only 15 of them came from time as Magic players, split evenly three ways between the aforementioned Carter-Williams, Markelle Fultz and the oft-injured Jonathan Isaac. Brooks would bring both experience through age (he's 27 years old), his 22 games of playoff experience (including a highly impressive debut where he averaged 25.8 points) and his time spent on winning basketball teams in Memphis (51 wins in 2023, 56 in 2022).
Dillon Brooks a future Magic Man? It just might make sense.
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