The Toronto Raptors may have a good chunk of money to throw around in free agency if they are unable to retain names like Fred VanVleet. Doing so could be spun as a positive, as they would have the ability to build a team that fits what head coach Darko Rajakovic wants to build.
Rajakovic could end up turning the Raptors into a contender by bringing over some of his players from the Memphis Grizzlies, many of whom received four straight seasons of tutoring from the Serbian mastermind. The most obvious candidate for such a move would be wing Dillon Brooks.
Brooks is a native Canadian, a free agent, and someone who is coming off such an uneven end to his tenure in Memphis that he could be acquired for pennies on the dollar. In a vacuum, Brooks is already starting to check a ton of boxes for the scoring-needy Raptors.
Memphis has already made it known they are unwilling to bring Brooks back on a long-term contract, which has opened the door for the Raptors to bring him to the squad potentially. If Rajakovic is what Toronto thinks he can be as a developer of talent, bringing Brooks in might be a worthwhile pursuit.
Will the Toronto Raptors sign Dillon Brooks?
Rajakovic’s work with names like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane earned him widespread acclaim, but Brooks went from a seldom-used bench player to a key starter. Brooks averaged 16.2 points per game over the last four seasons, all while becoming an All-Defensive team member due to his defensive work.
The Brooks truthers are likely the same people who would have defended a Jordan Poole trade. While both are fresh off their reputations taking a huge beating in their lackluster postseason, that may not be the best depiction of their value. Brooks can shoot and defend at a high level, and he’s in his prime at 27 years old.
Toronto would give Brooks an offensive and defensive system that he has familiarity and comfort with, and there is reason to believe he could get back on track as a shooter. Losing Trent, yet acquiring Brooks, could help Toronto if they are serious about making a postseason run with most of their current core.
The Raptors hired Rajakovic over more proven options based largely on his ability to correct flaws with his players internally. If he’s as good as Toronto thinks he is, why not let him try to bring Brooks back from the proverbial dead?