Sacramento Kings release Aaron Brooks

by James Ham and Jonathan Santiago

Aaron Brooks attacks the basket against Steve Novak (Photo: Steven Chea)

With an excess of guards on the roster, the Sacramento Kings have made a move to slim down and have released veteran point guard Aaron Brooks.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells Cowbell Kingdom that a buyout has been in the works over the last few days.  Earlier today, the guard took to Twitter comment his departure.

“I’d like to thank the great city of Sacramento, the Sacramento Kings Organization, coaching staff and most of all the fans that supported this leg of my journey,” Brooks said in a pair of tweets. “I enjoyed my time with the Kings and wish them success in the future.”

The news was first reported by Kings’ TV play-by-play voice Grant Napear.

Brooks is now free to join a playoff contender.  Today is the deadline for players to be waived yet remain eligible for the postseason. Yahoo! Sports reports that Brooks will sign with the Houston Rockets if he clears waivers.

The 28-year-old guard’s role decreased dramatically over the last month.  In February, Brooks saw action in just four of the Kings’ 12 games and played an average of 10.9 minutes per contest.

Overall, Brooks appeared in 46 of the Kings’ 59 games this season and averaged eight points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game.  He began the season on the bench, but took over starting point guard duties for a 20-game stretch that lasted from mid-November to late December.

The 28-year-old guard signed a two-year deal that included a player option for next season with the Kings last July.  At the time, his signing was considered insurance for the Kings, who were not comfortable with their point guard situation following the 2010-11 season.  Jimmer Fredette experienced a tumultuous rookie year while questions floated around Isaiah Thomas‘ long-term viability.

However, both have responded to any lingering concerns in their second NBA seasons.  Shooting 43.7 percent from long range, Fredette leads the Kings in 3-point percentage this season.  Meanwhile, Thomas has taken off following his Rising Stars appearance at All-Star Weekend.  In his last five games, the Kings starting point guard has averaged 16.8 points and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Brooks’ signing last offseason also came on the heels of what’s now being regarded as a draft day mistake.  The team strongly weighed the possibility of selecting Damian Lillard last June.  However their plans changed when Thomas Robinson became surprisingly available during the time of their selection.

Lillard has since become a leading candidate for this season’s rookie of the year award after the Portland Trail Blazers selected him with the sixth overall pick.  Meanwhile, the Kings sent Robinson in a deal to the Rockets that netted third-year forward Patrick Patterson at the NBA trade deadline.

Updated at 5:59 pm PT

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