Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
Birthday: Jan. 14, 1985
Experience: 3 years
Draft: 2007, 26th overall by Houston
2010-11 Salary: $2.02 million
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Season Outlook: Aaron Brooks was acquired to provide the instant offense the Suns’ second unit has lacked all season. He’s an offensive machine in a six-foot frame, and he figures to be able to carry the Suns’ bench for stretches, which is very important since it has been susceptible to droughts this season.
He should be a perfect spark plug off the bench although he isn’t quite the creator that Goran Dragic is. That could lead to some struggles off the bench when Brooks’ jump shot isn’t falling, although overall he should thrive in the Suns’ up-tempo pace, a system he was born to play in.
Purely for this season, Brooks should provide an upgrade at the backup point guard spot with the Suns struggling so much this year with Dragic at the helm. With the Suns’ rotation finally set, Brooks could be the final piece in making the bench a high-powered unit once again.
Biography: The NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2009-10, Brooks has averaged 12.8 points and 3.6 assists per game in 247 NBA contests (124 starts) for the Houston Rockets. He averaged career highs of 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game in his MIP season while starting every game for a Houston team that just missed the playoffs despite his scoring exploits.
He earned that award by registering the largest single season scoring increase of anyone in the NBA (+8.4) while leading the league in three-pointers made (209) and attempted and becoming the sixth player in the history of the league to go for 200 threes and 400 assists.
Brooks is a proven playoff performer who averaged 16.8 points and 3.4 assists per contest in 2009, a season in which the Rockets nearly knocked off the Lakers in seven games.
Brooks was drafted by the Rockets with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. The Suns had major interest in Brooks at the time, but they sold the 24th overall selection (Rudy Fernandez) to Portland and then Houston snatched Brooks up before the Suns’ 29th pick came up so they settled on Alando Tucker. It was presumed Brooks would have been the selection if he had fallen that far.
Brooks earned All-American and first-team All-Pac-10 honors when he led the conference in scoring 17.7 per game as a senior. He played four years for the University of Oregon, developing into a lethal crunch-time assassin by the time he finished his career.
He received numerous honors while leading Franklin High School in Seattle to the Washington 4A state championship as a senior, averaging 24.3 points and 7.0 assists per game. He outgunned Adam Morrison in the championship game with 38 points.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Brooks: