Since a very productive rookie season with the Nets a little under two years ago, MarShon Brooks has had a difficult time establishing a niche in the NBA to say the least. Following a 2011/12 campaign in which he averaged 29.4 MPG and posted 12.6 PPG, the former Providence guard saw his minutes dip to just 12.5 per game in 2012/13. After being dealt to Boston in the offseason, Brooks saw no more than 7.3 MPG in Brad Stevens’ rotation; a deal to the Warriors after 10 games with the Celtics yielded a paltry 2.1 minute average in seven contests. However, a deadline deal which sent Brooks packing for Los Angeles has brought forth a return to NBA relevance.
Coincidentally, Brooks’ Lakers debut came against Boston less than two weeks ago, and the 6’5 guard made his presence felt, scoring 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting in 23 minutes. Two nights after notching 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting in 20 minutes against Memphis, Brooks went 9-for-13 from the field en route to 23 points in 26 minutes against Sacramento. Through six games in L.A., the former first-round pick is averaging 12.6 PPG while shooting 51.8% from the field and an uncanny 88.9% from long distance. While those percentages are derived from a small sample size and will arguably move back toward the direction of his career averages sooner or later (44.2% and 32.7% respectively), it’d be difficult to dismiss his production or the idea that he is picking up where he left off in New Jersey a few years ago.
On the flip side, there are a few sobering points worth considering. For one, the Lakers aren’t remotely within playoff contention at this stage as far as this season is concerned, and one may argue that Brooks is enjoying numbers on a team without too many expectations right now. Secondly, the team has plenty of wing players to consider, including Jodie Meeks, Kent Bazemore, and Nick Young, who appears to have a mutual interest with the franchise in staying put for the long-term. Also, with ample cap space this summer and potentially in 2015 (depending on who the team adds this summer), it’s understandable to contend that a higher priority should be placed on preserving as much flexibility as possible for much more worthwhile targets, whether via free agency or trade.
Brooks is slated to hit unrestricted free agency this summer after the Celtics declined his team option for 2014/15. As it stands, the Lakers only have three guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, and will undoubtedly face an offseason of key roster decisions. Considering all this, should the Lakers re-sign Brooks after this season?