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.”