Phoenix Suns restricted free agent point guard Aaron Brooks, acquired in a trade deadline deal in exchange for fan favorite Goran Dragic and the Suns lower 1st round pick in the 2011 draft, expects to re-sign with the Suns, according to phone interview quotes from Hoops World.
Brooks struggled mightily as a Houston Rocket last season after badly spraining his ankle and losing his starting position. His play improved after the trade to Phoenix, but still left many Suns fans disappointed as he didn't provide the lift needed to get the team into the playoffs. The 2009-2010 NBA Most Improved Player averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 assists per game in his 25 games as a Sun.
There is no shortage of Brooks critics among Suns fans, but there aren't many viable options at backup point guard among the free agent pool. If Brooks returns, it will mean one less roster hole the Suns need to fill going forward.
Brooks' demeanor and attitude were questionable at the time of the trade since he sulked and complained after losing his starting job in Houston to Kyle Lowry, basically forcing the Rockets to trade him. His shoot-first mentality was also a little jarring for Suns fans used to seeing Steve Nash's uber-facilitating ways.
Still, Brooks did offer improvement from the erratic Dragic, posting better FG%, 3-pt%, FT%, points per 36 minutes and assists per 36 minutes, in addition to better on-court/off-court numbers.
Brooks had this to say to Hoops World about his time with Phoenix (full story can be found here):
"All of the guys there are cool, but it was awkward for me because I've never been in that position," Brooks said. "I've never switched teams in the middle of the season, but they did a good job of making me feel comfortable while I was there. It was just different being thrown into a situation like that."
He also expressed interest in and expectation of returning to Phoenix when NBA basketball resumes after the lockout:
"All signs point to me going back to Phoenix," Brooks said. "I had a good time. I like the organization and it's a great city. I would love to continue playing in Phoenix. I would love to stay with this team."
And this Suns fan would love to have you back, Aaron. Just don't demand too big of a contract, OK?