30Q: What Does Aaron Brooks Bring To The Table?

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 13: Aaron Brooks #0 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Magic defeated the Suns 111-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2010-11 Statistics (Brooks played in China for 2011-12):

59 Games Played, 21.8 MPG, 10.7 PPG, .375 FG%, .297 3P%, 1.3 RPG, 3.9 APG, 0.6 STL, 0.1 BLK

Contract Status:

2 years, $6.6 million remaining (2nd year is a Player Option)

Geoff Petrie finally got his wish this summer with the signing of Aaron Brooks, rumored to be a Kings target for years. Brooks was the Most Improved Player in the League for the 2009-10 season, but fell out of favor soon after and was traded to Phoenix, where he did not do well. Last year, he played in China due to the lockout, and reportedly did well, but that was China, where Quincy Douby has won All-Star MVPs.

Now back in the NBA, Brooks will look to try to regain some status in hopes of a bigger contract. To do that though, he'll need to be a better, more versatile version of the player he was during his award-winning season.

Aaron Brooks is a scoring guard first and foremost. He jacks up a ton of shots and uses a bunch of possessions. Over his career, he averages 15.5 FGA per 36 minutes, the same as Tyreke Evans. He also has a high career Usage Rate of 24.6%, meaning that he uses almost a quarter of his team's offensive possessions when he's in the game. Despite his knack for chucking the ball, Brooks isn't super efficient at doing it, clocking in at 41.1% from the field and 36.3% from three over his career.

One of the biggest reasons for his fall from grace in Houston and disappointing turn in Phoenix was the fact that his Three Point Percentage dramatically declined. Brooks takes a lot of threes, with just over 40% of his career attempts coming from three point range. One of the big factors in him winning the Most Improved Award was the fact that he led the NBA in Three Pointers Made during that season with 209 made with nearly 40% accuracy. For comparison, the Kings haven't had someone come close to making that number of threes in a season since Mike Bibby in 2005-06, when he hit 192.

The current Kings team is really lacking in deep threats. Brooks can really make a big impact if he can come in and provide good shooting on a consistent basis. While the team doesn't necessarily need him to score, Brooks would have a lot more freedom to do so in a bench role.

Brooks isn't a shabby passer either, with a fair career Assist Rate of 24.5%. This is on par with what we've come to expect from Tyreke Evans, and Brooks turns it over less than Evans. Brooks also showed signs of improving as a playmaker in Phoenix, where his Assist Rate was over 35%. However, that was only a 25 game sample size.

Defensively, Brooks has never brought much to the table. I don't expect much change there.

Still, Brooks looks to be a decent upgrade to the Kings backcourt if he can play at an even average level. These are some of the players the Kings have played as backup PGs over the last five years:

  • Jimmer Fredette
  • Beno Udrih
  • Luther Head
  • Pooh Jeter
  • Sergio Rodriguez
  • Quincy Douby
  • Will Solomon
  • Bobby Brown
  • Orien Greene
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Jason Hart
  • Ronnie Price
Looking at that list, I'm already ready to declare Aaron Brooks as the best backup PG the Kings have had since Beno Udrih. Admittedly, that's not saying much. Still, any upgrade in talent is good for this team. If he plays well enough to earn the starting spot, our bench is upgraded by having Isaiah on it. If he doesn't, our bench is still upgraded because we're able to bring in Brooks. I also believe any competition between Brooks/Thomas/Fredette will be good for all involved. Competition breeds improvement.

As Tom said in an earlier post, even if Brooks doesn't play well, he's on a cheap contract for just two years. If he does play well, then we had him cheap for a year. I don't see a downside to this addition.
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