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.
In the past four NBA seasons, there have been 208 occasions on which a player has scored 40 or more points - regular season and playoffs combined. Fifty-seven players have combined for those 208 outbursts, including such unlikely names such as Luis Scola, C.J. Watson and C.J. Miles.
Most of the players are stars, or were stars at the time. Many still are. But some of those players have fallen from this intermittent grace so badly that they now only earn the minimum salary.
Despite their proven potency, Nick Young, Al Harrington, Anthony Morrow, Aaron Brooks and Michael Beasley are now earning as little as a player can - in the case of Beasley, not one dollar of this minimum is even guaranteed. This was agreed to less than three calendar years from his 42-point game, quite the backwards progression.
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.