Updated Feb 24, 2011 - 11:36 pm
Phoenix Suns acquire Aaron Brooks for Goran Dragic
PHOENIX - Sports 620 KTAR's John Gambadoro reports the Phoenix Suns have acquired guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Goran Dragic and a lottery protected first round pick.
A 6-foot, 161-pound guard out of Oregon, Brooks is averaging 11.6 points, 3.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds this season. He is shooting 34.6-percent from the field and 28.4-percent from three point range.
For his career Brooks has averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 assists and 1.8 turnovers a game. He also has shot 41 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc in his career.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry told Sports 620 KTAR's Gambo and Ash that he thinks the trade will make the team better.
"We feel good about Aaron Brooks coming to our team, but obviously you get attached to a guy - in my case with Goran, you get attached to him - but everyone in our basketball operations, including the coaching staff felt like this would make our team better."
Suns GM Lance Blanks said that Brooks is a perfect fit for the Suns system.
"With his build, and his size...this system is even more so built for him," Blanks said.
"He can score at the highest level," Blanks said. "He's had games in the high 30s, 40s. He's put the team on his back and won games."
Suns president Lon Babby said that the Rockets initiated the trade talks and the Suns saw an opportunity to improve the team.
"Hopefully this change will make us more productive in the second unit, which will take a lot of pressure off of not only Steve Nash, but our whole first group," Babby said.
Brooks isn't sure exactly what his role will be with the Suns.
"I don't know yet," Brooks said. "I haven't had a conversation with (Gentry) yet. Definitely a little bit of backup point guard. Whatever they need me to do, I'm coming there to help out."
"I don't really see starting as an issue for me," Brooks said. "I'm accepting my role as a backup and I'm going to come in there and help the team out."
Some are wondering if the Suns have tagged Brooks as Steve Nash's heir apparent, but Brooks said he isn't expecting to replace Nash any time soon.
"I mean, is Nash going to ever really get old?" Brooks asked. "I haven't seen it. I played against the guy this year and last year. I don't really see the guy as getting old."
Both Babby and Blanks said that Brooks isn't expected to be Nash's heir apparent.
"I'm going to say blatantly, point blank, clean, no," Blanks said.
"You don't replace Steve Nash," Blanks said. "Those guys come around once in a half or full generation. We may never see another player like that."
Brooks said he has to go to Phoenix to get a physical, so he thinks that playing with the team in Toronto Friday "far-fetched."
Dragic was averaging 7.4 points, 3.1 assists and 0.8 steals a game but had been hampered by injuries and inconsistent play all season.
Gentry said that Dragic's inconsistent play was his biggest problem.
"It's just one of those deals where he just couldn't seem to put it together this year," Gentry said. "He had his moments, as we talked about, but overall a consistency thing I think was the thing that kind of hurt him most. We couldn't seem to have any consistency."
As part of the deal Houston would receive the Suns' first round pick if Phoenix makes the playoffs and would get Orlando's pick, acquired in the Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson deal, if the Suns pick is a lottery selection.
Brooks, who was the 26th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, was voted the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2010 after averaging a career-best 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. He is under contract for the remainder of the season. However, he is a restricted free agent unless the new collective bargaining agreement changes that.
Gambadoro also reported that the Suns were pursuing a three team deal with the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls. The deal would have seen Phoenix give up a combination of Robin Lopez and Mickael Pietrus in exchange for Jazz forward Paul Milsap. The deal never materialized.
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