Aaron Brooks was traded today to the Phoenix Suns for Goran Dragic and a 1st round pick. I don’t feel anything about this trade. Regarding the team’s direction, it is an improvement but for Brooks himself? Nothing.
I don’t consider myself a Brooks hater. I appreciate his effort and time with the team but I did not fall in love with him as many Rocket fans have done. I knew that deep down Brooks was just a fling. There was no way the Rockets would think of keeping him past this season.
Last season Aaron Brooks embodied the team and represented what we stood for. This was a Rockets team without no true star. Yao Ming was out for the year. Tracy McGrady was MIA, either physically or in effort. We over achieved last season and managed to get a winning record thanks to an improved Brooks. But what does that mean really? What are the parallels?
Aaron Brooks played out of his mind last season. He was able to overcome his many deficits to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
2008-2009 – 11.2 pts 2.0 asts 2.0 rebs .40FG% .366 3pt% .86FT% 9.8FGA 25MPG
2009-2010 – 19.9 pts 5.6 asts 2.6 rebs .43FG% .398 3pt% .82FT% 16.2FGA 35.2MPG
Brooks experienced an increase in several categories such as points per game, assists, rebounds, a higher FG% and 3 point %. However it could be pointed out that the minutes increase and field goal attempts are what caused such an up tick. Going by ‘per 36 minutes’ the stats are close but that isn’t the focal point of this discussion.Brooks is an undersized, quick, scoring first point guard. He isn’t a great passer. He can’t defend well. If he isn’t shooting well he becomes a liability to the point that it drives people crazy. I believe he reached his ceiling as a player last year. He overcame his physical and skill limitations just like how the entire season was one giant over achievement.
This year was a set back for the tiny point guard. He missed a lot of games due to an injury that caused him to lose his starting spot to Kyle Lowry. The thing is, after Brooks came back he was awful and malcontent with the situation. Brooks claims he is still feeling the effects of his injury and that is why he is playing so poorly. If so, why jack up so many shots? How many times has Brooks shot us out of a game this season? It went beyond a physical problem and turned into a mental problem the moment the organization kept Lowry as the starting point guard.
I believe that last season was a freebie. It was a give away season to see how the youngsters survive. Adelman handed Brooks the keys and said “Do it” but this season was not supposed to be that way. Yao was supposed to be back. The Rockets were suppose to compete and enter the playoffs. Brooks was going to be relegated to secondary piece; another cog on offense to spell Yao. But things don’t turn out the way you wish. Yao was out and the team had no direction at the time. Now? The direction is to rebuild. Brooks was not part of that plan. He reached his ceiling. He was not going to be happy coming off the bench. He wanted to be paid for last year’s production versus his actual value. He simply had to go.
What is the point of this whole entry then? It was not my intention to state the obvious but sometimes it needs to be done. Brooks was here. And now he isn’t. I don’t feel sad. I feel hope. And hope is a good thing. And no good thing ever dies.