Potentially following in the tradition of diminutive scoring point guards like C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, D.J. Augustin and fellow Seattle native Nate Robinson, free agent Aaron Brooks could be next in line to fill the role of the next Bulls' instant-offense scorer off the bench, CSNChicago.com has learned.
Another perimeter player with the ability to create his own shot is an area of need for the Bulls, who are currently projected to have 11 players under contract with the additions of veteran big man Pau Gasol, 2011 first-round draft pick Nikola Mirotic, re-signed floor general Kirk Hinrich and rookies Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow. Tuesday, the organization exercised the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer and Thursday the power forward was acquired by the Lakers, who submitted a high bid of $3.25 million, meaning the Bulls are responsible for the nearly $13.3 balance of his $16.8 million 2014-15 salary, the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2010, though it won't affect the team's salary cap.
[MORE BULLS: Lakers sign amnestied forward Carlos Boozer]
Brooks, 29, averaged nine points per game as a reserve in Denver and Houston last season, posting per-game averages of 11.9 points per game for the Nuggets while filling in for the injured Robinson. The best season for Brooks, generously listed at an even 6-foot, was the 2009-10 campaign, in which he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game in Houston.
A University of Oregon product, the journeyman has bounced around the league throughout his seven-year NBA career, playing for the aforementioned Nuggets, Kings, Suns and three separate stints with the Rockets, the team that drafted him in 2007, as well as briefly playing in China during the 2011 lockout. For his career, Brooks, who is regarded as a shoot-first point guard, has averaged 11.1 points and 3.4 assists per game.
[FORBES: Bulls, Cubs, Bears rank in 50 most valuable sports franchises]
There's no question Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau's reputation for putting similar backup point guards in position to succeed has played a part in Brooks considering relocating to Chicago, even with former league MVP Derrick Rose slated to return at the start of the season.