by Micah Hart
Today is Monday, which means it’s time for another fabulous edition of Extend, Trade or Cut. Speaking of Mondays (excellent segue Micah), last Monday was the final day for teams to offer contract extensions to players from the 2007 Draft class, or risk said players becoming restricted free agents when the season ends. Not many players ended up with that security this year, in part due to labor negotiations and in part due to lack of talent/production. Of the 30 players drafted in the first round, only Kevin Durant (duh), Al Horford, Mike Conley (surprise!), Joakim Noah, and Jared Dudley signed on the line which is dotted to secure their playing futures for the next several years.
So what of the players left in the cold, forced to play for their (future) pay this season? Today we examine three players in that current situation: Houston’s Aaron Brooks, OKC’s Jeff Green, and Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey.
Just to refresh you on the rules, picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you have to trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.
Let’s examine the evidence:
Aaron Brooks – The Rockets’ speedy point guard is perhaps a victim of circumstance rather than undeserving of a long-term deal; Houston made a decision across the board not to extend anyone without a new CBA. In more certain times, I’d say it’s pretty likely Brooks would have a deal. Brooks was the Most Improved Player in the league last year, starting all 82 games for the Rockets and averaging 19.2 ppg. He’s a scoring point more than a distributor though, and at his size he’s not much of a defensive presence.
Jeff Green – People are ALL over the map about this guy. Some see him as a crucial component to the Thunder’s future, a Scottie Pippen jack-of-all-trades to Durant’s Jordan. Others think he’s overhyped, and point to the fact that OKC’s plus/minus is consistently worse with him on the floor than off it.
Rodney Stuckey – Stuckey started fast out of the gate in his career, looking at times like a future star in his first couple seasons with the Pistons. But he too is a bit of a tweener – is he a point? Is he a shooting guard? Lately, he appears to have fallen into Pistons’ coach John Kuester‘s doghouse, getting benched for most of the second half in a game against the Hawks last week. How much of that is just the dysfunction of playing with a seemingly rudderless franchise right now?
All right, the pins are set. Knock ’em down with your vote below:
UPDATE: Aaron Brooks is apparently out 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury – I can’t tell you what to do, so if you want that to factor into your hypothetical decision feel free, but I’d say you can pretend for the sake of argument that he’s a picture of health.