With Aaron Brooks having wandered into Rick Adelman‘s doghouse recently — he’d been coming off the bench since returning from an ankle injury a few weeks ago, and sat out last night’s game in Denver after being suspended one game by Adelman for conduct detrimental to the team — the reigning NBA Most Improved Player is rumored to be on the trading block as the Feb. 24 deadline approaches.
The Knicks are interested. But according to the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets aren’t looking to part with Brooks yet:
According to two individuals with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking, the Rockets are not mulling a deal because so far there is not one to consider, and the Rockets are not looking to dump Brooks. Not even close.
He could be moved by the deadline, which has been true for most of the Rockets roster since Yao Ming started limping Nov. 10, long before Brooks stalked off the floor on Saturday. The Rockets, however, are not in talks to deal him and really don’t want to.
Dumping him now would be incredibly short-sighted for a team looking to make moves much, much more significant than thinning the roster.
In the 21 games Brooks has come off the bench behind Kyle Lowry, he’s averaged 10.4 points and 3.7 assists, and has often been on the floor in the fourth quarter and in crunch-time situations. No matter who starts, Brooks and Lowry are one of the top point guard combos in the League and help make the team’s up-tempo offense go. The Rockets are fourth in the NBA in field goal attempts per game and fifth in three-point attempts.
Should the Knicks put together a package to convince Houston to part with Brooks, it may only be a short-term rental for a playoff run. Brooks is a restricted free agent after this season, and if he considers himself a starting-quality point guard — which he is — he won’t sign up to be Ray Felton‘s backup.