As rumors fly long past the NBA's trade deadline, Marc Stein of ESPN.com checks in with a Weekend Dime that's heavy on items about Josh Smith, as well as plenty of news about the Rockets. There's even a link between Smith and Houston, so let's dig in.
12:14pm: The Rockets have officially signed Brooks, the team announced in a press release.
TUESDAY, 8:06am: The agreement between Brooks and the Rockets, which isn't official yet, will pay Brooks $2.5MM this season and includes a team option for $2.5MM next season, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Houston will sign Brooks using its excess cap space.
MONDAY, 7:24am: The Rockets have agreed to sign free agent guard Aaron Brooks, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The deal includes a team option for the 2013/14 season, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Brooks and the Kings reached agreement on a contract buyout on Friday and the guard cleared waivers earlier this evening. The Rockets have been heavily linked to Brooks over the last few days as both sides were said to have interest in a reunion.
The 28-year-old has started 20 games for the Kings this season, but averaged just 10.9 minutes per game last month as he fell behind Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette on the depth chart. Brooks averaged a career low 8.0 PPG and 2.3 APG, a significant drop from the 19.6 PPG and 5.3 APG he had for Houston in 2009/10. The guard was taken by the Rockets with the 26th pick in the 2007 draft and spent the first three-and-a-half years of his career there.
The Rockets have a full 15-man roster and will have to release someone to make room for Brooks.
Former Kings guard Aaron Brooks has cleared waivers and sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) that he will work to finalize a deal with the Rockets. The Kings bought the veteran out of his contract on March 1st.
Because he was bought out of his contract prior to Friday night's deadline, Brooks will be eligible to play in the postseason for whichever team he signs with. The Rockets are currently sitting in the eighth spot at 33-28 with the Lakers 2.5 games behind them.
The Rockets drafted Brooks 26th overall in 2007 and traded him to the Suns in 2011 for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick. The guard had his best NBA season with Houston in 2009/10, averaging 19.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG while shooting 39.8% from the outside.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Saturday evening:
Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld has a new column that surveys several topics from around the NBA, including info on several buyout candidates. Here are the highlights:
Aaron Brooks and the Rockets have finalized their agreement, and the point guard will sign with Houston when he clears waivers, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski first reported earlier tonight that Brooks would likely sign with the team. Houston has a full 15-man roster, so to clear room, the Rockets will have to waive someone before the deal with Brooks becomes official.
The Kings bought out Brooks today after signing him to a two-year, $6.646MM deal this past offseason. The 28-year-old was deciding between the Kings and the Rockets this summer, tweets HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy, but Brooks and Houston were far apart in negotiations, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle noted. It's unclear how much Brooks forfeited in the buyout, but he probably had to give up at least the amount of next season's $3.396MM player option, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors surmised.
Brooks has started 20 games for the Kings this season, but averaged just 10.9 minutes per game in February as he fell behind Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette in coach Keith Smart's playing rotation. As a result, his scoring (8.0 PPG) and assists (2.3) averages are at their lowest since his rookie season. Brooks spent that year in Houston after the Rockets made him the 26th pick in the 2007 draft, and in his third season he averaged 19.6 PPG and 5.3 APG for the team.
Houston traded him to Phoenix midway through the 2010/11 season, and he spent last year playing in China. The Suns held his rights when he returned, but they couldn't reach a deal, and this summer, Phoenix pulled its qualifying offer to Brooks, making him an unrestricted free agent.
5:37pm: Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle adds, via Twitter, that Brooks and the Rockets were "pretty far apart" when negotiating over the summer. Still, Feigen expects them to get a deal done this time around, since Brooks "wants it to work" and the Rockets came up short in their pursuit of a veteran point guard at the trade deadline (Twitter link). Brooks has some money left over from his Kings deal, even though we've yet to hear how much he received in the buyout. Brooks must clear waivers before any signing can become official, so another team could nab him if its willing to take on the full value of his Kings contract.
5:27pm: Brooks is likely to sign with the Rockets, Wojnarowski tweets.
5:21pm: Point guard Aaron Brooks is in talks with the Rockets about a contract following his buyout from the Kings today, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy speculated earlier this afternoon that Houston could get in the mix for the 28-year-old, since they pursued him over the summer. Kennedy also heard that Brooks plans to take his time before signing, so the discussions with the Rockets might not be that far along.
The Rockets drafted Brooks 26th overall in 2007, trading him to the Suns in 2011 for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick. Brooks enjoyed a career year with Houston in 2009/10, averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while draining 39.8% of his three-point attempts. He also started all 82 games for the Rockets that season, but Brooks has never started more than 35 games in any other year.
If Brooks signs with the Rockets, the team would have to waive somebody to make room. Still, he makes sense for the team, which has been going with rookie Patrick Beverley as the backup to Jeremy Lin at point guard following the trade that sent Toney Douglas to the Kings. With Brooks seemingly headed to Houston, it seems a little odd, in retrospect, that Brooks wasn't a part of that deal, but now the Rockets will likely get him at a discount, rather than absorb the two-year, $6.646MM contract he signed last summer with Sacramento.
The Kings have bought out Aaron Brooks' contract, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter). Grant Napear of CBS Sacramento first tweeted that Brooks had been released by the team, while Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reported that the two sides were working on a buyout.
Brooks' contract included a 2013/14 player option worth about $3.4MM, but he likely gave that up as part of the buyout. The 28-year-old point guard will become an unrestricted free agent when he clears waivers, but isn't close to reaching an agreement with another team, according to Kennedy, who tweets that Brooks will weigh his options before signing.
Because Brooks was released before tonight's buyout deadline, he'll be eligible to play in the postseason for whichever team he joins next. Kennedy suggested (via Twitter) that the Rockets, Knicks, and Jazz might be potential fits for the veteran. Those teams have either had interest in Brooks in the past or could use a point guard now -- or both.
With a few hours remaining before this season's buyout deadline, the Kings and Aaron Brooks are working on a buyout for the veteran guard, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter). Nothing is finalized yet, according to Jones.
After being a regular part of the Kings' rotation for the first two months of the season, Brooks has received less consistent playing time since then. Head coach Keith Smart has recently been using Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette at the point, with Brooks only appearing in four games in February.
Brooks, who is earning $3.25MM this season, also has a player option worth about $3.4MM for 2013/14. If the Kings were to agree to release the 28-year-old, he'd likely have to give up that option money, as well as a little of this season's salary. Assuming the two sides can reach an agreement, the Rockets, who pursued Brooks last summer, may be interested again, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Kennedy adds (via Twitter) that the Knicks could be a nice fit as well, since they've been linked to Brooks in the past and were pursuing another point guard prior to the deadline.
For Brooks to be playoff-eligible for another team, the Kings would have to request waivers on him by 10:59pm CST tonight.
The Kings have had a couple nights off since dropping their fifth straight game, at home against the Nets on Sunday. Still, things may not get any better tonight, as the Lakers come to town on a three-game winning streak, including a victory last night over those aforementioned Nets. As the Kings look to start climbing out of the Western Conference cellar, let's round up a few Sacramento-related links....