Grizzlies

A Change of Scenery That Benefits Grizzlies, Nets

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The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” 

– William Arthur Ward

Full disclosure, right off the top: I googled quotes about change of scenery and this one was dope to me. Apologies to the William A. Ward stans out there for going all bandwagon on you, but I digress.

This little think piece involves two individuals, who on the surface might seem to share mirror qualities, but when you dig deeper there’s another layer that could benefit all parties involved.

The Pessimist View

“I really like Dillon Brooks, but mane…” is a sentence that slides out of most Memphis Grizzlies fans’ mouths a tad too often.

That’s because the fourth-year wing on the team-friendly extension is exactly what you want out of an NBA rotational player, until his usage goes up and the shot-selection IQ goes down.

Now the caveat this season is that Grizzlies’ No. 1 option Ja Morant has been sidelined with an ankle injury, which explains some of the shooting/decision woes.

But if you have been paying attention when it comes to the Maple Mamba, none of that really matters, because well…Dillon gonna Dillon.

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All that being said, there’s another young scoring wing in Brooklyn who has really been winning me over and also might need that change of scenery thing moving forward.

The Optimist View

On Basketball Reference, one of LeVert’s nicknames is “Baby Durant.” I could stop there, but I won’t.

LeVert broke out last season with the Nets, averaging over 18 points per game while helping lead them to a playoff berth, all without the help of two future hall of famers.

The last sentence is why I think this trade makes sense for everybody involved.

Hot Take coming in 3,2,1…

Dillon Brooks is a reserve who starts, while LeVert is a starter coming off the bench.

Yeah I said it. And I meant it.

I know their numbers are similar, but the proof is in the superstar-less team results.

Without KD and Kyrie, Caris showed he could be a stabilizing force with a group of solid-but-not-all-star-caliber players.

This season, LeVert has seen his numbers drop because of the dynamic duo returning. That means Brooklyn isn’t getting max production from him in a reduced role, and it’s showing with their early-season record.

The Realist View

At this point, if you’re pro Dillon I’m being called many, many mean things, and that’s cool. I totally understand thinking this is a lateral move, but that’s exactly why I’d be down for it.

What do you have to lose?

If you’re the Grizz, you get an athletic, shotmaking wing to put alongside a potential backcourt of Ja and impressive rookie Desmond Bane. Throw in Jaren Jackson Jr.’s additional floor spacing when he returns and it’s not hard to picture a legit contender in a crowded but not dominant Western Conference.

I can hear y’all now, “But Reggie what about Justise Winslow?!” To that I say, #ShoulderShrugEmoji! Bring in the talent and cross that M bridge when/IF you come to it.

Brooklyn gets Dillon and Grayson Allen back in return to add depth after the Dinwiddie injury. Add in a 2021 first and 2022 second-round pick as well for good measure.

For those upset that my theoretical trade is shipping out the longest tenured Grizzlies player on the roster, I leave y’all with this beauty of a quote from Mandy Hale.

Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”

Plus, Caris’ uncle was the late, great R&B legend Gerald LeVert…and that’s slick enough for me!

About Reggie Walker Junior

I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. After attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, I became the Sports Director at an ABC affiliate in Jackson, TN. I've covered the NBA, NFL, and also Div. 1 hoops. I'm a Grizzlies fan but I aint bias, so expect nothing but the #SportsReal from me.

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