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All Athletes Play Better In Contract Years, Right? Meet Aaron Brooks

SB Nation handed out some pretty distinguished hardware to Rockets guard Aaron Brooks yesterday, giving him the prestigious Worst Contract Year Award. Brooks managed to lower his market value so much this season that he may wind up taking the Phoenix Suns' qualifying offer because it's the absolute best he can do. How did we get here? Roll that beautiful bean footage, Tom Ziller:

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Brooks entered the season a valued up-tempo point guard with a skill for hitting three-pointers and one of the quickest first steps in basketball. He ends the season known more as a malcontent prone to long periods of inefficiency (also known as "streakiness) and a defensive minus, even by the standards of the Suns. Brooks suffered a derailing injury early in the season, which allowed Houston coach Rick Adelman to hand the keys to Kyle Lowry.

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When Brooks returned and Lowry remained the first option, A.B. responded poorly, even getting suspended by the Rockets for leaving the court during a game. He was later traded to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick.

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I'd say Daryl Morey pretty much won that trade, yeah? 

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It's a shame, because Brooks probably could be a terrific offensive point guard as an unquestioned starter on a bad team. The problem is that he would get pushed around on defense and give most of it back. The sooner he accepts his role as a bench scorer, the better off his career will be, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.