BY THE NUMBERS:
29 games played (0 starts), 13.3 minutes-per-game, 6.6 points-per-game, 45% field goal percentage, 27.8% three-point percentage, 100.5 offensive rating, 103 defensive rating, 11.6 PER, .018 win shares per-48 minutes
SEASON IN REVIEW:
Coming off of 2017-18, MarShon Brooks was one of the most intriguing players on the the Memphis roster. After signing a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies in March 2018, he quickly and wildly outperformed it and earned a multi-year deal once his 10-day expired. With the small sample size warning being obvious, it is fair to point out he averaged 20.1 points-per-game in just over 27 minutes a game. He was one of the few bright spots on a tanking team. It’s hard to imagine a Grizzlies fan who wasn’t excited for a scorer as fans of a franchise that refuses to have more than one scorer at one time.
2018-19 did not live up to the season prior’s promise. There was plenty of opportunities for a wing to emerge off of the bench. Dillon Brooks was injured and the team was bad enough to not be too picky with where they got their production. MarShon could never capture that same energy and potential that he showed the year before as a lethal off-the-dribble scorer.
His playing time vacillated throughout the first two months of a season. He would play just over 19 minutes against the Suns on October 27th, post his best statistical game of the year, and get just 5 minutes on the court in the next Memphis game. I can imagine the disillusionment that can come from seeing your productive play result in even less playing time.
Regardless, in the playing time Brooks did receive, he was listless. He scored double-digit points just six times all season and shot 27.8% on three-pointers for the season. For the reputation he had as a scorer and a shooter, he did neither for Memphis this year.
Unfortunately, the high point of notoriety for MarShon Brooks this season was a failed trade in December. The Suns, Grizzlies, and Wizards agreed on a trade that would send Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Grizzlies, Trevor Ariza to the Wizards and Austin Rivers and Dillon Brooks to the Suns. Along the way, something was lost in communication. Reportedly, the Grizzlies thought they were trading MarShon Brooks when the Suns thought they were getting Dillon Brooks. The miscommunication and disconnect was enough to scuttle Memphis out of the deal, leaving the Suns and Wizards to make a trade on their own a few days later.
After the embarrassing situation, MarShon was a rare sight in Memphis. After the trade fell apart on December 14th, MarShon played in just 4 of 11 Grizzlies games. In two of those four appearances, he played less than three minutes. As off-putting as the inconsistent minutes were, this failed trade fiasco may have been the proverbial nail in the coffin.
A few weeks later, Memphis was able to trade Brooks, Wayne Selden, and two 2nd-round picks for Justin Holiday.
As a whole the season was a disappointment. Expectations weren’t, and shouldn’t have been, sky-high for a player who played well in literally just *7* games the year before, but Brooks still didn’t live up to them. Being traded, then not traded, then traded again, couldn’t have helped that situation.
For MarShon, it’s about finding a new home for 2019-20. After the trade to Chicago, he was waived by the Bulls and didn’t sign with another team for the rest of the year.
Hopefully he has taken the extra time during the season to get right for next year and be ready to contribute. Even though it’s hard to think of Brooks as something other than a prospect, he’s already 30 years old. That’s not to say he won’t be able to put it all together and be a contributor to an NBA team, but we have a much bigger sample of MarShon not doing that.
I think we’ll see him on an NBA roster at some point next season. He still hasn’t been given a chance play out an entire season for one team since 2012-13. It just takes one team to take a flyer, and the allure of a microwave scorer will always entice GMs around the league. It just didn’t work out in Memphis.