Believe it or not, there were some other significant moves this offseason than what “SportsCenter” would lead you to believe. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Deron Williams signing with the Nets and Joe Johnson joining him and even Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan re-signing with the C’s and Spurs, respectively, were stories that we heard about all summer long. As we close in on the 2012-2013 season, it’s time to take a look back at 10 moves that didn’t get enough notice this offseason.
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10. Aaron Brooks to the Sacramento Kings
It’s OK to feel some skepticism about signing a 27-year-old point guard who hasn’t played in the NBA for over a year. That’s certainly how the Suns felt about Aaron Brooks by withdrawing their qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. The Kings on the other hand took a chance on the seven-year man, giving him a two-year deal worth roughly $3.3 million. Let’s not forget, in the 2009-10 season Brooks was hanging up 19 points a game and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. In his last season in the NBA, Brooks only appeared in 25 games and averaged fewer than 20 minutes in those appearances. Scared off by the chance of the lockout, Brooks got stuck in China right before the December deal, unable to get out of his contract like J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler did. What the Kings will get out of Brooks is a lightning quick guard with superb ball-handling skills, who can also score the ball a number of different ways. It’s a win-win for both parties here. Do the Kings get much better with Brooks? No. Brooks will use this opportunity in Sacramento backing up Isaiah Thomas to get his feet back under him in the NBA. By the time his contract is up, he’ll still be under 30 and looking to come off the bench for a playoff contender.
9. Devin Harris to the Atlanta Hawks
A little more thatn a week into his new position as Hawks GM, Danny Ferry dumped nearly $105 million in contracts (Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams). In return, the Hawks got Anthony Morrow and of course, Harris, who is coming off arguably the worst season of his career. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Harris the first thing that comes to mind is that buzzer beater he hit against the 76ers in 2009. Three years removed from that, though, and years removed from his best season (2008-09, 21 PPG. 7 APG with NJ), Harris finds himself on a Hawks team looking to make a splash in the 2013 free agency class. The offensively talented former All-Star has the potential to reestablish himself in a Hawks system longing for a change. With backcourt depth consisting of Harris, Morrow, Jeff Teague and Louis Williams, the Hawks find themselves with plenty of scoring/play making options.
8. Jarrett Jack to the Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are going to be in the hunt for one of the last playoff spots in the West if they can stay healthy, and that is a big “if.” Adding a seventh-year veteran like Jack to back-up the fragile Steph Curry is a great move. In 45 games with the Hornets last season, Jack averaged 15.6 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 3.9 RPG. Although Jack isn’t likely going to be that point guard to lead his team to a championship (is Curry, though?), he will provide much-needed consistency off the bench. For someone who doesn’t fill up the stat sheet with big numbers or have a very flashy style of play, you still find yourself respecting Jack for some reason, as an old-school, low-flying guy. He just plays tough. Something that Golden State lacks with a backcourt of Curry and Klay Thompson.
7. Landry Fields to the Toronto Raptors
After making some noise in his rookie season, Fields went through somewhat of a sophomore slump with the Knicks. The most relevance Fields experienced last season was being one of two people in New York City who let Jeremy Lin sleep on his couch. The two-year man out of Stanford signed a three-year/$20 million offer sheet with the Raptors, which believe it or not, was not matched by the Knicks (sarcasm). Fields went out and got himself a big boy deal, ladies and gentlemen. My favorite reaction to the Raptors offer was from Bill Simmons when he tweeted, “Landry Fields to his agent: ‘Wait… did you say 2 million or 20 million? Because honestly, I’ll take either. I don’t care'” Where Fields will fit in with the jumpshooter DeMar DeRozan and eighth overall pick Terrence Ross is unclear, but I do expect an improved year from Fields this season. His production took the deepest fall after Carmelo Anthony showed up in NYC, and the pressure of playing in the Big Apple while slumping probably isn’t the easiest of situations. Now he’s in Toronto and new coach Dwane Casey will probably give him the green light on offense. I like him in Toronto, just not the price they paid for him.