The Phoenix Suns have extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent guard Aaron Brooks, according to a team press release. The offer is reported to be in the neighborhood of $3 million, and ensures that the team has the right to match any offers that Brooks receives from other teams in free agency.
Brooks was acquired at the trade deadline last season for Goran Dragic and a first round draft pick, in the hopes that he could provide a scoring punch off the bench while backing up Steve Nash at the point guard position. But Brooks mostly struggled, and rarely showed any of the same flashes that led him to receive the league’s Most Improved Player award the season before while playing for the Rockets.
The extension of qualifying offers to restricted free agents in the NBA is really a formality more than anything else. Teams would obviously much rather have the option of matching an offer for a player than having to outbid for his services, and that’s all this move guarantees.
As for Brooks, many factors will go into whether or not the Suns decide to retain his services moving forward. The quality of the offers he receives from other teams, Phoenix’s ability to improve at the position through trades or tonight’s draft, and of course, the post-lockout landscape of the league and what the salary cap situation becomes could all potentially impact this situation.
The bottom line is, the Suns would like to do better. But if they can’t, and the price to keep Brooks isn’t too steep, they may just stick with what they’ve got.