The Chicago Bulls would have a stronger defensive identity with Dillon Brooks
Look, I’ll preface this section by saying I’m the leader of the anti-Dillon Brooks cheer squad and it took all my strength to write this section’s heading, but… he does compete on the defensive end. Pair that defensive intensity with Beverley, Caruso and/or Ball, and the Bulls might be back to where they were two seasons ago on defense.
After signing Beverley, the Bulls went 14-9, jumping back into the Play-In Tournament and even winning a game while there.
Brooks has posted some solid defensive numbers in recent seasons, holding opponents to 4.3 fewer points per 100 possessions last season according to Cleaning the Glass. That number is in the 86th percentile among all wings.
Additionally, his opponents saw a 1.1 percent drop in their effective field goal percentage and a two percent drop at the rim when he was out there via the same metrics. Both of those figures are high in the NBA but it’s worth mentioning that a lot of Brooks’ minutes are alongside Jaren Jackson Jr., the 2022-23 Defensive Player of the Year (and advanced stat darling).
Despite that, the Grizzlies held opponents to the second-lowest points per 100 possessions. That’s not all one player. I’ve addressed Nikola Vucevic’s shortcomings as a ground-bound big man but if re-signing him is something the team wants to do, then so be it. The best they’ll be able to do on that end of the court is surround him with active perimeter defenders and work around his drop coverage limitations.