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New Rockets coach Ime Udoka reportedly placed high value on Dillon Brooks

With an average annual salary of more than $20 million for the next four seasons, Dillon Brooks was somewhat of a controversial signing for the Houston Rockets in 2023 NBA free agency.

But according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the gritty, hard-nosed defender was a priority for new head coach Ime Udoka. Despite occasional antics and questionable shot selection, Brooks is widely regarded as one of the league’s best and toughest wing defenders, and the young and rebuilding Rockets were one of the NBA’s worst teams on that side of the ball last season. So, enter Brooks.

Here’s a sample of what MacMahon told ESPN colleague Zach Lowe on a newly released episode of The Lowe Post podcast:

Ime Udoka wanted him. He valued him. He’s in Houston in large part because of that. It’s on Ime Udoka to deal with that and get the best version of Dillon Brooks that also creates the best possible scenario for these young guys to grow.

In contrast to former head coach Stephen Silas, MacMahon believes Udoka is being empowered to make key organizational decisions. In fact, Udoka could be the most powerful person in the franchise outside of the family of owner Tilman Fertitta, MacMahon said.

The complete podcast can be listened to below.


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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire