Phoenix Suns trade Goran Dragic to Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks

Becoming tired of Dragic's inconsistent play, the Suns decided to deal their one-time point guard of the future for Houston's Aaron Brooks. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

In another surprise move, the Phoenix Suns on Thursday traded reserve point guard Goran Dragic to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Aaron Brooks, according to multiple sources.

The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro reported the trade on Twitter and multiple sources confirmed the Suns’ deadline dealing of the third-year point guard and a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to Houston for Brooks.

Brooks is averaging 11.6 points and 3.8 assists per game this season after putting up career numbers last year (19.6 points and 5.3 assists). He’s shooting 34.6 percent this season and 28.4 percent on threes.

Dragic, who was once considered the heir apparent to Steve Nash, is currently averaging 7.4 points and 3.1 assists per game. While those numbers are similar to last season, the perception this year has been that Dragic has regressed.

Shooting 42.4 percent (down from last year’s 45.2) from the field and 27.7 percent from three-point territory (down from 39.4 in 2009-2010), Dragic has seemed to struggle to find a rhythm this season.

“They’re just not falling,” Dragic said Tuesday after Suns practice.

Dragic also said that he didn’t get the amount of time he wanted to work on his game before starting the 2010-2011 campaign.

“It was a long season last year, and then with the national team I didn’t have time to develop and practice all my individual stuff,” Dragic said. “I just have to find my rhythm. I was hurt now, so I just have to get back into shape.”

After the Suns’ run to the Western Conference Finals, which prominently featured Dragic torching the San Antonio Spurs, the Slovenian led his country’s national team at the FIBA World Championship.

Dragic also missed seven games recently after cutting his foot on glass at home. Reports said the Suns had become frustrated with Dragic’s inconsistency. The 24-year-old point guard may have also been limited in Phoenix after the departure of Amare Stoudemire.

“Maybe it is different because we don’t have such a big presence in the paint like with Amare and this year Steve has to take his shots,” Dragic said.

The Suns were on a flight to Toronto when the NBA trade deadline passed.

Coro also reported that the Suns were in discussions for Utah forward Paul Millsap, but “it never got close.”

Tags: Aaron Brooks Goran Dragic Houston Rockets Phoenix Suns

  • Mirza

    I disagree with this move on so many levels …. there’s a reason why the Rockets are moving Brooks (I guess the same reason the Suns are dealing my boy Dragon). I just dont understand it one bit …. dealing him is one thing but to give up a first round pick as well when everybody knows damn well that’s what we need …. On my way to get a Rockets #2 jersey ….

    Drzi se jarane bit ces ti dobar i sve najbolje

    Im out !!

  • Rob

    Why do the Suns hate draft picks?

  • Zak

    Hopefully the ESPN report that this trade fell through at the last moment is true.

  • BK

    I hate this move! I really like Dragic a lot and thought he would make a great heir to Nash. Typical Suns though…get someone young and talented and a guy that the fans like and trade him. They’ve let way to many good players go in recent years topped off by not keeping Amare. I for one am growing tired of the same old song and dance from the Suns.

  • Ryan

    Carter for Yao Ming!

  • Lloyd

    I really like this deal. Brooks will provide instant scoring off of the bench, and much needed relief for Steve Nash.

    Dragic was overated by Suns fans, and his claim to fame might be along the lines that he looked like Mick Jagger!

  • Steve

    Dragic was overrated as an NBA player, I agree, but Brooks is rated properly, and his rating is not-that-good.

    So we traded a decent player AND a pick for a decent player. What do we gain from this? Aaron Brooks doesn’t win championships, so if there is no bigger picture here, I’m failing to see the point of this move.

  • Mirza

    please tell me this fell through at the last minute

  • Stevie P

    I’m hoping the bigger picture here includes letting Brooks walk at the end of a year (he is a RFA) and clearing the Carter money of the table to go after someone we need (ie: a PF that weighs more than a buck fifty)

  • Scott

    Anyone that doesn’t like this deal needs to stop wqtching basketball because they know nothing about it. Yes, Brooks has had a rough year but that’s because he’s been stuck on the bench after coming back from an injury. But if you look at what ths guy did last year 19 points per game 5.5 assists per game in a much slower system than the suns and what he did before he got hurt this year pretty much the same thing. Now what has Dragic done? Not a damn thing, last year he was ok in the playoffs but it’s been pretty damn clear he’s never going to be anything but a below average backup and nothing else, while Brooks has already said he’s exited to come here and back up Nash. I can also see him playing aside Nash because of the way he can shoot 3′s when he’s happy, his 3pt% has been down this year but thats because he got hurt and lost his job to a lesser player in Lowry who couldn’t even steal the PG job in Memphis from Conely. So quite Biatchin about how horrible it was to trade Dragic just because you like his nickname.

  • Drew

    @BK : I’m curious who you’re referring to when you say, “Typical Suns though…get someone young and talented and a guy that the fans like and trade him.”

    The only one I can remember that fits this profile is Joe Johnson years ago and that wasn’t a trade. We got the best years out of Marion, Barbosa, and Bell. And none of those qualify as “young.” Diaw gave up after he got his big contract.

    I don’t know if I love the deal because of Brooks’ reportedly bad attitude. And giving away a draft pick shows how little the FO thinks of this draft class. But that seems to be the general feeling among the GMs.

    Besides that, Brooks is instant offense off the bench and has experience running a team. With the offense coming to a standstill at times with the second unit on the court, this could be an improvement.

    I was wondering if we were going to go after Millsap. I’d love to hear more about those talks.

    I guess my dreams of buying a Jimmer jersey that is purple and orange are gone…

  • Freddy

    I really like the trade. Nothing wrong with a Brutha Running the point.

  • Mel.

    So, history being what it is, can we expect Dragic to average a 20-10-5 line for next year, and suddenly become one of the NBA’s premiere point guards?

    Suns, Suns, Suns. I love you, but you don’t make it easy on a guy.

  • Cam

    Hate giving up a first round pick. I hope they didn’t give the pick up or it’s lottery protected. I liked Dragic but Brooks has great energy. He just isn’t the typical Suns PG and I think that has everyone worried. I was actually hoping we could get Kemba Walker in the draft. I like that kid’s intensity.

  • Mike Meez

    @Scott- IMO there is not a clear big winner in this trade, but I don’t like it for the Suns and I know quite a bit about basketball.

    Even last year in his “breakout” year, Aaron Brooks wasn’t really that good. Yes, he averaged 19 points but on 43% shooting. Not very efficient. I should know, I had him on my fantasy team last year. This season, Brooks has averaged about 5 more minutes per game and yet averages only .7 more assists than Dragic, 4.2 more points, and .3 rebounds less. For their careers, they are equal in steals/game even though Dragic has gotten significantly less playing time.

    And if you’re going to give Brooks leeway for his injury, you have to do the same for Dragic. And factor in that the Suns bench has been completely different this year.

    Dragic is younger and has more potential. As for Brooks, other than Allen Iverson, how many 6’0 pg have ever been truly great? In the short term, it may give a spark to the bench. But honestly, who cares? It’s not like we’re making a run at the WCF again.

  • Jim

    @Scott… Rick Adelman does not run a “much slower system” than the Suns. In fact, the Suns’ pace this year is 96.6, which is slower than the 96.9 rating for Houston. If the Suns were going to blow a draft pick and Dragic on a Rockets player, they should have looked at Jordan Hill or Courtney Lee. Two areas of weakness are defensive rebounding and SG defense. Hill or Lee would have fixed one of those. The price may have been higher, but the Suns also have a million SF they could throw at Houston who just gave another away in Battier.

    Lee can also hit an open jumper. Trust me, I live in Houston and have to watch this team all the time. Jordan Hill has impressed me in the two games I attended in person and he killed the Suns on the boards in their first trip to Houston. Also would provide a versitile pick and roll option at PF for Nash. Might relegate Warrick to the bench, but Suns would be upgrading in age and potential.

    I also watched Brooks in person vs. the Mavericks and he was absolutely terrible. I sat there confused as to why this guy thought he deserved a major extension when Kyle Lowry was clearly outplaying him at PG. Brooks is 26 and doesn’t play defense. Sure, he “can” score, but he’s a shoot-first PG now on a second unit whose offense often lacks ball movement. He’s a volume shooter who scored 19.6 PPG on 43% shooting last year. He’s averaging 5 3pt attempts in 23 min this year despite shooting 28%.

    From Hollinger for this year: “Now, about those other four guys. Brooks is what scouts call a “pounder” — he’ll take ten dribbles looking for a shot before finally giving it up, and when he does it’s not necessarily for a great look. His pure point rating was only 60th out of 71 point guards, his assist ratio 62nd. You could excuse it last season since he was one of the few Rockets who could create his own shot, but if he ignores that giant 7-6 guy in the middle, it’s going to be a problem.”

    Warrick and Gortat need someone who can set them up for looks. Pietrus is inconsistent shooting on the wing and will only cut to the basket if he knows he’ll get the ball. Not a good fit, short term or long term. A straight up trade for Dragic would be fine, but giving up the first round pick is unacceptable.

  • Mike Meez

    Not to mention the first round pick we gave up. Even a straight up trade for Brooks, I’d be very skeptical. Throw in giving away a first round draft pick and I’m not too happy.

  • Mike Meez

    @Jim, JINX!

  • Steve


    While I see where you’re coming from, saying that Goran isn’t as great as many Suns fans believe and Brooks actually has been a pretty good player in the past, you’re dead wrong in saying that anyone who disagrees with this trade doesn’t know a thing about hoops.

    First, Aaron Brooks is a career 41% shooter. This year’s poor shooting isn’t an anomaly. His career 36.5% from 3P-range is respectable, but certainly nothing to jump out of our seats about, especially considering than Goran has shot a comparable 35.6% so far in his career. Brooks has averaged 11 FGA per game in his career. Do we have 11 shots to give to a career 41% shooter every night? No, especially not when you consider the player Brooks will be replacing has averaged 5.6 FGA per game in his career. Brooks won’t get the opportunity to match his production for the Rockets because he can’t be utilized in that way. And that’s probably a good thing, given the fact that Brooks is an awful shooter.

    Second, Goran isn’t the best defender (many Suns fans give him too much credit, imo), but Aaron Brooks is a pathetic defender, if for no other reason than he’s outsized by every man in the NBA save the Nate Robinson’s of the world. He doesn’t even provide steals. 0.6 SPG compared to Goran’s 0.6 SPG in less time. Aaron Brooks is more of a defensive liability than Steve Nash. What are we going to do when we need some D at the one spot?

    Third, and most importantly, we didn’t just give up Goran. We also gave up a pick. Are you telling me there wasn’t something else the Suns could have done with that pick to improve themselves even more in the future? They couldn’t have retained it and drafted a player? Or traded up in the draft to acquire a pick in the lottery (if they’re not already in the lottery)? Or just simply got something besides Aaron Brooks with the picks they have to offer? The Suns were in a position to do something good this offseason. Now they have no cards to play except buying out Carter and getting rid of Brooks (whatever his contract situation is).

    This was not a good trade. It’s not the worst trade of all time, but for a team that needs BIG strides to make a mark, this trade does absolutely nothing to improve our future or disposition.

  • Cam

    The next few years are gonna be hell for Suns fans. I can already see it. Instead of getting younger through the draft we are trading away picks. I don’t get it. Maybe that’s why I’m not a GM. IMO I think it’s better to put a young exciting product on the floor even if you aren’t going to make the playoffs for the next few years versus getting the 8 seed and losing in the first round each of the next few years. The LAC’s may not make the playoffs but they are putting butts in the seats because they are exciting and they have potential. Oh well. Go Suns.

  • Zak

    Okay, the trade actually seems to have been made. I’m not sure if I like it but only time will tell whether it was a good trade for the Suns or not.

  • Steve

    @Jim & Mike

    Double jinx!

  • Jason

    We went sideways with this trade, maybe ahead in the short term and backwards in the long term. Lets see how Brooks plays before we decide for sure. The offense looks TERRIBLE on the second team and as he showed last night, Dragic is incapable of creating his own shot. Also, nobody mentions how slow his release is. It takes him forever to jack up a shot.

    Maybe this little shot of energy is just what we need to lose a first round series.

  • Jim

    @Mike and Steve – haha.

    I’ll tell you I have complete PTSD from the Sarver era. The years of selling first round picks or making bad decisions have traumatized me. I should have known this year that having two of them was too good to be true. To make matters worse, the pick they’re trading is their own if they make the playoffs! The one that if they sneak into the 7th or 8th seed will be higher than the Orlando pick.

    I’m using the somewhat flawed stat of Adjusted PER (from HoopData) here for a comparison, but with Brooks at 13.95 and Dragic at 13.24, is the difference really worth a first round pick? They have a glut of SF but make a trade for a PG without unloading a single extra wing player? They can’t package together one of the wings for a guy like Jordan Hill or Patrick Patterson?

    The Rockets have Hayes, Scola, Patterson, Hill, (Brad) Miller, (Jared) Jeffries, and now Thabeet who can all play PF/C and all but Miller have a higher rebound rate than all Suns PF/C except for Gortat.

    Consider this article about a recent PF candidate the team gave up due to a lack of confidence:

  • Josh Hansen

    I think we have to look here at both the short-term and the long-term.

    Short Term:
    *Which guy are we getting—the bad attitude in the dog-house guy, or the guy who had a PER at 16 last year (Just above average)

    *Brooks is run and gun. Hollinger says this about him, “Brooks could always blow by people, but his improvement as a long-range shooter was the key to his winning the Most Improved Player Award. He hit only 33 percent as a rookie but improved to 39.8 percent last season on much greater volume — in fact his 208 3-pointers led the league. He was an efficient scorer, too, ranking in the top third of point guards in TS% while averaging a sterling 22.4 points per 40 minutes. “
    Houston system is not close to ours. What he can really do in our system? I think he will be better.

    *Dragic is a great prospect…or are we nostalgic from the Spurs series?

    *Schwartz and others have reported (I believe) that the Suns were actually losing patience with Goran. Is there something we do not know? What else can you report on this Michael? Also—how does this affect chemistry?

    Long Term:
    This will be much shorter because we really do not know a lot of things.

    *What is Babby’s plan? Is it: A. Brooks is the replacement for Nash who will be traded this summer—keeping Childress and Pietrus is pre-empting Hill being gone as well… B. With the new CBA coming next year, the plan is to let Brooks go in spite of the tender, having Carter gone as well leaving cap room to sign a big guy

    **Babby has said he wants to build a team through trade and FA, not lower level draft picks. We know it takes being absolutely horrible to get a good pick. (Remember, the pick is protected from the lottery.

    Wow—I really have no idea what the long-term plan is. Anyone else have any ideas?

  • Jim

    @Josh, when you say Houston’s system isn’t close to ours, what you mean? You mean that Kevin Martin (SG) and Luis Scola (PF) are the focal points rather than the PG? Because if you’re looking at pace or offensive and defensive efficiency, the teams are acutally quite similar. Does the 2nd unit really have a “system”? Each player on second unit except for Dudley is a mediocre jump shooter. Suns also miss that energy guy (like Amundson) to help spur the defense and make the garbage plays inside.

    So, the idea is to trade a guy one team is losing patience with (Dragic) for another one who left the bench and got suspended because he whined about playing time (Brooks)?

    Let’s not use Brooks’s MIP award (often horribly selected by the writers) as justification. Diaw won the award and a contract and ate his way out of town. Brooks is probably too thin naturally to get as fat, but he can definitely feast on poor shot selection (5 3PA per game) instead.

  • Josh Hansen


    You are right about the pace. I was putting it to the “eye” test, not looking at the stats.

    So–what was the point here then? It doesn’t save money-so we can stop the “hate Sarver” nonsense and apply that to the more often and legitimate times that applies.

    There must be something here we just do not understand–that is, there must be something about Goran that made us want to move him. Schwartz, what can you find out?

    And please–no, “the Suns management is just dumb” arguments here.” Let’s be productive and positive here.

  • Samuel

    Really dislike this trade, mainly because I love Dragic and I think he was going to become a top rate PG in a couple of years. I suppose Nash might not have a couple of years though, so perhaps his potential is too far off.

    Pissed off about the draft pick though

  • Graham

    All this tells me is that Steve Nash is likely to move next year. What the hell are phoenix doing!? One minute they make out like they are trying to give Steve an opportunity then they get another point guard who seemingly is there just incase he leaves?

    We need Carter to pull his finger out or do our best to get a good shooting guard. Hopefully they move Brooks and Carter by years end if Steve sticks around

  • Beware_of_God

    I have followed the Suns since 1972 and it has been a sickening roller coaster ride. You older Suns fans know all the heartbreak things over those years. I am too old to sit through another down and out period with them. I find myself watching the “exciting” Clippers now. Sort of liking Okla City’s team a lot too. I hate the big few: Lakers, Celts, Bulls. They all have broken my heart by beating my teams at crucial playoff times over my life. I won’t live long enough now to see my Suns ever win it all. Sad really. I can relate to Cubs fans. I think I will be totally divorced from the Suns when Nash leaves or retires. There will be nothing left there that I recognize. Thus I move on now!

  • Jason

    @ BoG I respect what you’re saying, I have followed the Suns since the early 80′s. But giving up on the franchise because we traded Dragic doesn’t sound right to me. Not even when Nash retires.

    You (we) have been watching this team long enough to see all the ups and downs, and the downs are what make the ups so special. One of my all-time favorite teams was just last year. They were the best. Not because they had the most talent or because they went the farthest, but because of the chemistry and the heart they exhibited. And this coming after missing the playoffs altogether.

    You never know what will come our way. We have a history of getting guys here. The culture, the fans, and the weather all contribute to this. We are a great franchise and that won’t change any time soon.

    While you may not live long enough to see a championship, it’s the pursuit of the championship that injects excitement into your life and makes you feel good. Keep the faith brother.

  • JP

    If we don’t make the playoffs do we keep our lottery pick and give up the Orlando pick? If so why didn’t we just keep the pick and draft a backup PG???????

  • Michael Schwartz

    That’s correct, if the Suns are in the lottery Houston will get the Orlando pick.

  • Amare

    Dragic is so overated, he doesn’t deserve to play in NBA

  • BlackAlias

    @Amare: I disagree. I think he is all about potential and still shows promise!

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    KJ Loyalist is here to rant!


    Going back over the decades to the non-stop problem of PHX getting a point guard, grooming said point guard, and having that point guard ready to take over when the legendary point guard hangs them up! It’s something PHX is very good at… OH WAIT!

    We snatch a talent from Santa Clara with potential to run the Suns high-octane offense to PERFECTION, (no matter what variation of offense has been installed), only to trade him away without allowing him to grow for ANOTHER great point guard who we couldn’t even keep WHAT!? (Steve Nash version 1 y’all).

    Go through half a decade without a true backup to Two-Time that constantly gave leads away.

    FINALLY! As our super-nova-galaxy-like-asteroid-flash-of-a-star Nash creeps closer to retirement or leaving, we find ANOTHER picture-perfect point guard that we can groom and prepare for when our star dies out for whatever reason only to give him 234234 different players off the bench with no real flow and / or direction because the ball was out of his hands 75% of this season, (Hedo), or he wasn’t given the time that a young guard needs in a changing team, (Gentry), so we say we’re “tired” of him and ship him away for a guard who hasn’t even put a team on his back in a PLAYOFF GAME to bury a team but had one “decent” season where there was absolutely nobody else in Houston to shine, has a bad attitude, and Doesn’t want to come off of the bench but that’s where he’ll be WHAT?!?!

    If Gentry remains and Nash leaves, we will still need a guard who knows how to, and enjoys passing while having an aggressive scoring edge, (when needed). So we trade that away for a SCORING GUARD at 6 feet tall who will ALWAYS shoot first especially off of the PnR UM OKAY WHAT?!?!?

    So for THIS YEAR he’s supposed to lead the second unit by being that scoring threat? Yeah? THAT’S AWESOME but WAIT A SECOND! What are his numbers shooting the rock this year? What are his numbers shooting the rock OUTSIDE of 3/4 of a season last year WHAT?!?

    So now if Nash leaves and we decide to keep Brooks going into next season the keys to the car we love so much are now in the hands of a shoot-first guard which will cause the offense to pause who is going to get buried on the defensive end not only with guards blowing by him but he doesn’t take charges as well as Nash does and he’s going to get posted up by even MORE guards making him an even greater defensive liability than Nash ever was while Dragic would have grown nicely with tremendous on-ball defense WHAT?!?!

    For their CAREERS! Brooks averages almost a QUARTER MORE playing time, (nearly eleven minutes more PER GAME!), and only scores 5PPG more with near-identical assists per game, 3P% and uh everything else but he’s going to blossom more with full playing time WHAT?!

    On top of that even if Nash is gone, Brooks might be gone too so now we may have to use a draft pick to draft a point guard definitely OH WAIT! Protected pick So we may have to go into FA to find a guard that fits nicely into Gentry’s system that would be able to grow with the team and keep us out of being like the Cavs or Raptors… OH WAIT!! DRAGIC!?! WHAT!?

    And we still have too many wing players and now we’ve brought in a guy at 6 feet tall who is supposed to be the scoring punch off the bench possibly forcing another wing player out of the rotation well WOW perhaps we can trade one of them… OH WAIT! DEADLINE SMASH!!!

    At least we moved VC for some… OH WAIT!!! VC STILL HERE AND NOT CARING SMASH!!!

    I defended our front office the other day against some fan who was talking about them being the worst in the league. I won’t go that far, but I’m not defending them again.

  • Jeff

    While there is probably a team somewhere in Phoenix where Brooks’ style fits, it is probably has the words High School on the sign.

    Say what you want about Dragic but the man has the all-time scoring record for a player (with under 20 minutes) in a playoff game.

    I give them a pass on trading Stoudemire who was a big, stupid, overpriced playoff choke machine but trading a PG of Dragic’s ability because he is young and … oh yeah they traded everyone else is insane. Not to mention a big middle finger to Dragic.

    Question: Can we trade Robert Sarver for a backup PF? Or whatever cash they happen have on them. Because that guy is jumpier than Michael J. Fox riding a roller coaster on crystal meth.

  • bandwagoner2fan

    How many years does aaron brooks have on his contract? Vince’s contract is expiring right? this move makes sense only because Phoenix has TWO first rounders next season and are probably think that it’s redundant and gave away one of them.

    Logical, unless you get a draft class like james, anthony, wade, etc. but nash needs pieces NOW!

    as i fan, i would like to see:
    1) vince gone, no disrespect
    2)a ROBIN and BROOKE LOPEZ Frontcourt (while still keeping marcin gortat)
    3)one or two more all-star caliber players to add next year, doesn’t have to be as ostentatious as D. Howard, though a NASH-HOWARD one-two punch would certainly erase ALL memories of Amare, bottom line is….


  • james

    Sarver seems to look at first round picks as liabilities rather than the best way to re-energize your NBA team.

    Gentry and Nash have kept this team afloat through almost a decade of adding NO picks of note.

    Hill, JD and Frye guy are playing way above who they would otherwise be because of Nash.

    When Steve goes the Suns will take a prolonged dive and the season ticket incentives will need to approach the give away level.

    I miss 2005. What a team. Any team with long tough players like Marion and Joe Johnson has the chance to get the key stops needed.

    Too bad the “core” kept changing as Deng, Rondo, and Rudy Fernandez and others head for the playoffs.

    Seamus in PHX

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