The Denver Nuggets added a quality backup for starting point guard Ty Lawson, acquiring guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for swingman Jordan Hamilton, Nuggets General Manager Tim Connelly announced today.
At 6-0 and 161 pounds, Brooks is a small, quick point guard who can shoot from distance. He is a career .844 free-throw shooter and owns a .414 mark from 3-point range.
Brooks has averaged 11.1 points and 3.2 assists in six seasons with the Rockets, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings. In 43 games with Houston this season, Brooks averaged 7.0 points and 1.9 assists in 16.7 minutes.
Selected 26th overall by Houston in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks was outstanding for the Rockets during the 2009 Western Conference playoffs. He averaged 16.8 points in 13 games, highlighted by a 34-point performance in Game 4 of Houston’s second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He followed his strong postseason play by averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists – both career-bests – in 2009-10 and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
The addition of Brooks became particularly important because the Nuggets also today dealt Lawson's previous backup, Andre Miller, in another trade.
Miller is a smart veteran, a great lob passer, and has an effective game in the post due to his good size. However, he is not a great outside shooter, so in that area at least, Brooks is an upgrade.
Miller's days in Denver were numbered after he and coach Brian Shaw had a dispute earlier in the season when Shaw gave Miller, a rotation regular, a "DNP-CD" even though Miller was healthy enough to play. Miller was suspended and has not played since that incident.
Miller was sent to Washington in a three-team trade for forward Jan Vesely. He will be expected to backup emerging star point guard John Wall.
In addition to shipping Vesely, the Wizards also sent guard Eric Maynor to the Philadelphia 76ers under the deal. Philadelphia received a future second-round draft pick from both the Nuggets and Wizards.
Vesley, 6-11, 242, is a good athlete and finisher at the rim. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft after playing for three seasons with Partizan Belgrade. In 2011, the 24-year-old was named the FIBA Young Men’s Player of the Year given to the top European player born in 1990 or later.
In two-plus NBA seasons, he has failed to meet up to his draft day expectations, averaging just 3.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.2 minutes. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Nuggets Injury News
Finally, in other Nuggets news, center JaVale McGee underwent surgery this morning to repair a stress fracture in his left tibia.
“While it’s disappointing that we won’t have JaVale back on the court this season, we’re happy that he can move forward in his recovery,” Connelly said.
McGee averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in five games this season. In six seasons with the Nuggets and Washington Wizards, he has averaged 8.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services