As expected, the Phoenix Suns withdrew their qualifying offer to Aaron Brooks today, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Brooks hinted at this very possibility last night by tweeting “Unrestricted : )” before taking the tweet down soon after. His qualifying offer was for $2,976,637 and the Suns possessed a cap hold of $5,041,730 for Brooks.
After signing Goran Dragic and drafting Kendall Marshall to complement incumbent point guard Sebastian Telfair, Brooks clearly was not in the Suns’ plans (kind of funny that the Suns essentially reversed their disastrous 2011 trade deadline deal minus the pick, right?). By rescinding the offer, the Suns avoided Brooks accepting it and being stuck with his salary.
Because Brooks was not on the Suns’ roster last season when he played in China, he was not eligible for a sign-and-trade deal due to a rule in the new CBA aimed at preventing a situation whereby the Mavericks included Keith Van Horn in their trade for Jason Kidd because they owned his Bird Rights although he was retired.
If the Suns decided not to spend their cap space, I thought it would make sense to try to bring Brooks back if he would sign for one year so they could later trade him. However, because the Suns need pretty much every last dollar of cap room to complete all their agreed-to acquisitions, it became a foregone conclusion they would withdraw their qualifying offer to Brooks as well as renounce the rights to all their unrestricted free agents.
The Suns will eventually need to make a decision on Robin Lopez’s $7,156,505 cap hold (he currently possesses a $4,001,917 qualifying offer), but there was no reason to do so today because the Suns ultimately want him back. As I outlined in the aforementioned cap analysis, the Suns will likely need to make an amnesty move or send back enough salary to New Orleans (or in a separate trade elsewhere) to make room for Lopez.
They may still need to rescind his QO, but even then they could still get him back in a variety of ways as I detail in that piece.
Gordon not selected for Olympics
We do not know yet know if Eric Gordon will get to be a Phoenix Sun, but we did learn today that he will not be an Olympian.
Team USA announced that Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden received the Dream Team’s final three spots instead of Gordon, Rudy Gay and Anthony Davis. It ultimately came down to Harden over Gordon for that final guard spot.
Joe Gerrity from Hornets247 spoke to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo about the decision:
“Well that was a factor [that he hasn't played much lately]. Eric, we know he can shoot the ball, he’s a pitbull defensively, but he hasn’t played much. It’s difficult to get a read on where he might be a week from now, two weeks from now. But it was another coinflip between him and James Harden at that position. We have some small guards. Harden is a bigger guy. We were kind of missing … you know we have a number of players [that are taller] and some small players. We needed some players in between. Iguoldala and Harden kind of fit that role.”
Colangelo made one more noteworthy comment that seemed to be a dig at the franchise he brought into existence and nurtured for so many years:
“It’s kind of interesting. He hasn’t played a full season yet and he’s a max player in the NBA. It’s kind of an interesting thing.”