Suns Spot | Farewell, Dragon

February 25th, 2011

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Previous week’s games
02/23/2011 SUNS 105, Hawks 97

Upcoming week’s games
02/25/2011 SUNS @ Raptors, 5 p.m., My45
02/27/2011 SUNS @ Pacers, 10 a.m., My45
02/28/2011 SUNS @ Nets, 5 p.m., My45
03/02/2011 SUNS @ Celtics, 5:30 p.m., My45

Aaron Brooks (right) and Goran Dragic are switching team colors.

As this year’s NBA trade deadline approached yesterday afternoon, it appeared the Phoenix Suns would stand pat. The word from both the local and national media was that the Suns liked the direction the team is heading and felt they’ve finally started building chemistry and didn’t feel making a move was worth the risk.

This seemed very much true right up until the closing minutes of the deadline. That’s when The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro broke the news that the Suns were sending backup point guard Goran Dragic and a first-round pick in June’s draft to the Houston Rockets for point guard Aaron Brooks. Needless to say, this was quite the surprise.

It took me a while to fully digest the trade. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a big Dragic fan. I like his potential and the talent he has shown. I think he will end up being very good in this league and he’s one of the nicest people I have ever met. So, it’s certainly sad to see him go.

But receiving Brooks in return could end up being very good.

Last season Brooks had a breakout season, winning the Most Improved Player award. This season has seen Brooks take a big step back, but an early season injury could be the cause of that. Brooks hurt his ankle in the fifth game of the season and by the time he recovered he had lost his starting spot. He has yet to regain his form.

A change in scenery may be just what Brooks needs. Based on his performances playing against the Suns, Brooks should excel in the uptempo offense the Suns run.

Overall, I like the trade. It gives the Suns an added spark off the bench that is sure to come in handy as the playoff race tightens up. This year, the bench has often given up leads, so something needed to be done. This move has the potential to fix that problem.

The Suns were worried about toying with the chemistry that they had recently started to build. This trade should have little impact on that. At worst, this would be a lateral move and the Suns would basically be in the same spot they’ve been in. At best, it could pay huge dividends, as Brooks has shown he can be an explosive scorer.

Dragic will be very much missed, as he was a crowd favorite, and it’s always hard to part ways with someone you’ve become such a fan of, but we’ll always have game three of the Western Conference semifinals against the Spurs.

  • Jacob Hughes

    It’s possible that the Suns just want to give Brooks a test drive in case they decide to trade Nash this summer. Brooks is only 16 months older than Dragic and has certainly shown more ability, at least offensively.

    • http://thehudsucker.tumblr.com Chris Coffel

      I kind of agree with you on that, Jacob. I don’t think trading for Brooks is an indication that the Suns are certainly going to try and move Nash over the summer (like some do). Maybe had they traded for Brooks without trading Dragic, then I’d be more inclined to lean that way. I think Brooks does give them a better backup plan for if Nash were to be traded. My best guess though is that Brooks was brought in because he should make the second unit stronger and give them a scoring punch, while being the backup to Nash for the next few years.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp2Lzk1YRJo Will Novak

    Glad the Suns traded a real back up PG for a score first mentality chucker who can’t defend a lick. Aaron Brooks is like a way worse version of what the Suns had in Barbosa, but they saw fit to ship out Bartbosa. Now they trade for a poor mans version of him, lose a solid backup PG with size who can defend and play alongside Nash in spot duty, and they lose a 1st round pick too!

    The Suns main needs leading up to the deadline were to acquire a PF (rumor had it they tried and failed to get Paul Millsap) and move some of their superfluous wing players. Instead they struck out on both of those needs and made a deal to acquire a backup PG.

    “Rudderless” is the only word to describe the Suns move’s recently. They have zero plan, their moves are all so jumbled and just make no sense.

    • http://thehudsucker.tumblr.com Chris Coffel

      Will, the Suns could have traded for Durant and you would have hated it. You made the same negative comments around the deadline last year. You always look for the negative in things. I don’t recall any comments from you when the Suns were in the WCF last season.

      Now for this trade….

      As much as I love Dragic and still think there’s a lot of potential there, he was certainly starting to drift a lot more towards a combo guard rather than a real PG. The Suns got better now with this trade and the future is a toss up. Both players are young and have plenty of room to grow.

      This notion that Aaron Brooks is a chucker is a little unfair. He averaged five assists last season with a supporting cast of subpar offensive players, so he was forced to shoot more. He is defintiely not a poor man’s Barbosa, He has greater upside and is a better playmaker.

      It would have been nice to add some more size and the deadline while moving a wing, but you have to remember that the you can’t just get rid of player X for player Y. You have to have players other teams want.

      Since Lance Blanks has been GM he has made two trade. Suns have traded Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark, Goran Dragic and 1st round pick while receiving Marcin Gortat, Mikael Pietrus, Vince Carter, Aaron Brooks, and a 1st round pick. The only downside to those trades was having to give up JRich, but it was more than worth it to accquire Gortat.

      For this season, the Suns are coming together now and will make the playoffs and then who knows what will happen. For the future, once the new CBA is in place, the Suns will be in much better shape than people think.