Nuggets, Rockets Swap Hamilton, Brooks

The Nuggets announced that their deal sending Jordan Hamilton to Houston in exchange for Aaron Brooks is now official.  It initially appeared Hamilton would be on his way to the Knicks, but it turns out he won’t have to travel quite as far.NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets

Brooks, who had the option of declining the deal, fills Denver’s need for a point guard.  Meanwhile, the swap makes it seven straight deadline in which Rockets GM Daryl Morey has swung a deal.

Brooks will likely see more playing time in Denver than he did in Houston, where he was stuck behind Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin.  The Nuggets have been looking for a backup to Ty Lawson ever Andre Miller and coach Brian Shaw got in a public spat around New Year’s, prompting Denver to send Miller home. Denver agreed to trade Miller to the Wizards in a three-team arrangement today.

The Nuggets’ decision to send Hamilton to Houston instead of the Knicks appears to have stymied New York’s efforts to trade Beno Udrih, whom Denver would have received, since the Knicks had no other suitors left for the veteran point guard, Shams Charania of RealGM tweets. All the interest in Hamilton is somewhat surprising, though the 23-year-old has made 11 starts for a banged-up Denver team this year, averaging career highs in an assortment of categories in his first significant playing time after mostly riding the pine during his first two NBA seasons. The small forward is nonetheless shooting just 39%.

Hamilton and Brooks will both be unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Denver elected to decline its 2014/15 option on Hamilton’s rookie scale contract before the season. Hamilton is making about $1.17MM, while Brooks gets the minimum salary.

Zach Links contributed to this post.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.  Shams Charania of first tweeted news of the deal. 

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