On February 24, 2011 Aaron Brooks was traded to the Suns for Goran Dragic and a first round pick.
Houston and Phoenix basically exchanged back up PGs, but there’s something more to that. This simple transaction could, as usual, be addressed from different points of view.
The Rockets have clearly decided 4-year veteran Kyle Lowry is their starting PG, Kyle is somewhat similar to Brooks, a better passer, a much better rebounder (despite being only 6-0) even if a slightly worse shooter.
Houston is currently 3rd in points, 4th in Assists, 8th in rebounds and 24th for points allowed (and 23rd in opponents FG pct) so Rockets genius GM Daryl Morey tried to address those needs plus he got rid of Brooks since their relationship was not really going well anyway (Aaron was suspended by team for leaving a game in the fourth quarter on February 5th after missing almost five weeks with an injury earlier in the season).
Goran Dragic is a better defender, has longer arms, is taller and has greater potential than Brooks.
Aaron likes to dribble a lot and in the near future you’ll find yourself yelling “PASS!” at the TV set but like Nash he can beat almost everyone one-on-one. He’s probably the closest to a Steve Nash clone the Suns have had in years. Brooks could fit the system well theoretically (he’s good at playing pick-&-roll) and could add depth to the bench, while he’s not going to improve the team in other key areas i.e. traditional weaknesses of our Suns: defense and rebounding not to mention turnovers.
Brooks assists-to-turnover ratio is a very low 2.39 that which would rank him as 40thbest PG in the League. (Nash is at 3.16 just as a reference). Please note that Dragic is even worse at 1.55.
Aaron was named NBA Most Improved Player in 2009-10 when, during his third year with Houston, he started all 82 games and averaged 19.6 points and 5.6 assists per game. Brooks is also a good outside shooter, a career .366 on 3-point attempts.
So basically the Suns traded defense, rebounding and potential (include in that category the draft pick) for offense, dribbles and outside shooting. All this happened while Phoenix currently ranks 4rd in points, 5th in Assists, 23th in rebounds and 26th for points allowed (and 24rd in opponents FG pct). I don’t know why…but I somewhat expected the Suns should have tried to add defense and rebounding before the trade deadline.
In case you wonder the move was not about cap space nor about 2012 the year the world will end and the Suns will never be the same (the contracts of Carter, Nash and Hill will end in the summer of 2012) since both Goran and Aaron will be out of their current deals by then.
In his first two games with the Suns Brooks played a total of 24 minutes, so it’s way too early to tell if the move made some sense anyway. Only time will tell or, well, maybe … as over the last few weeks Coach Gentry has shortened the Suns rotation for a run at the playoffs.
So much for rationality. Welcome to Phoenix, Aaron*.
Yours truly, Luca the Steve Fan
*You can now follow Brooks on Twitter at @thirty2zero.