"Rook, I am the best shooter in the league. In the league, understand? And you're up here trying to tell me something?" - Larry Bird to Reggie Miller, as Reggie tried to distract Bird between free throws.
Houston's trade of Aaron Brooks to Phoenix in exchange for Goran Dragic and a lottery protected first round pick represents quite a decent return for a man whose value has imploded this season. In freefall from his 19/5 averages last season, Brooks lost his starting job to Kyle Lowry, didn't take it well, and has crawled to a 11.8 PER. If you're a fan of win shares, note also that Brooks has thus far recorded only 0.2 of those puppies this season, quite the collapse from being a near 20 point scorer last season. The same could be said of the value of Dragic - one of the game's best backup point guards last season, Dragic has struggled mightily this season, turning the ball over at an enormous rate and rocking a true shooting percentage of only .492%. Nevertheless, Dragic has a team option on his contract this summer, which, if declined, will see him enter restricted free agency. If Houston has Dragic in their long term plans, it might be worth considering declining the team option and retaining him long term for a cheap price while his value is low, rather than having to pay him in the summer of 2012 when he may have rebuilt his value and is no longer restricted. A Carlos Boozer-type situation seems unlikely.
Cleveland finally did something with their angry owner's willingness to spend, taking on Baron Davis'sexorbitant outstanding salary, and getting a top 10 pick for their troubles. The upcoming draft is going to be truly bad - we're talking 2000 calibre bad - but nevertheless, every draft has talent in it. Even the crap ones. Cleveland, who inevitably have to build through the draft, is right to trade into it, as long as they are sure that Baron's salary proves not to be prohibitive down the road. Meanwhile, L.A. ends the entirely unproductive B-Diddy era, and opens up $6 million in 2012 cap room. Why a team with 2012 cap room aspirations decided to sign Ryan Gomes to a contract that will pay him $4 million that summer is not immediately clear, but it's too late to change that now.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.