It has been reported that the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors have worked a three-team deal out that sends players and picks in various directions. Don’t even worry about breaking it all down, what really matters here is that the Warriors have gotten not one, but two badly needed backup guards to take over the burden from Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala, who is in no way, shape or form a point guard himself. Essentially all the talk has been about the fact Jordan Crawford, one of the two guards, will do much to solve the crisis for the Warriors, although his defensive side of the game leaves a lot to be desired. This is all well and good, Crawford will provide decent cover while Curry takes to the pine to rest from time to time. But everybody is sleeping on the other guard brought over in that trade, MarShon Brooks.
OK, firstly there will be no secrets between us, this writer has always been high on MarShon Brooks. Beyond the numbers and the stats, when he plays, he just has that something that makes you want to watch more. To prove this guy is no one hit wonder when it comes to earmarking players who could potentially be something one day, other players who have gotten the seal of approval from day one are Rajon Rondo, Jeff Teague and Kawhi Leonard. During his time on that awful last incarnation of the New Jersey Nets, Brooks averaged more than 12 points a game in 56 contests, with a field goal percentage of .428. More than that he was a spark that got teammates going, despite the fact he was only a rookie in the league at that time. Yes he only averaged 2.3 assists per game, not good enough for a point guard, but he did make the All-Rookie second team too. The arrival of Deron Willaims was always going to stunt his growth, and it did, but since being traded to the Celtics in that mega deal that included future hall of fame players Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, he has not gotten a fair crack at the team at all. This is strange, considering the Celtics are in a rebuild mode of sorts and All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo was out with ACL damage. Experimenting with Brooks at the point is something Boston could have done, but they largely chose not to, and they may regret that decision.
We are not here to make excuses for Brooks, but to date what looked like a promising career early on has turned sour as a result of a distinct lack of playing time. Golden State offers a fresh chance for the third year player, but the fresh fear is that he may not get that with the Warriors either. Crawford will almost certainly be the backup, with Brooks potentially either playing garbage time, headed for the D-League, or being moved on once more. Should any of the above happen, and at least one of them will, it would once more be a cruel blow for a player who actually has something.
Nailing my colors to the wall, there is the belief here that Brooks could one day be a top fifteen point guard in the league. You just have to watch him play, which is rare these days given how it doesn’t happen, to see that he possesses something that all really good players do. Not even the superstars of this league, just the established second options, that is what Brooks could turn into given the chance. The hope here is that Golden State realize he may actually be the better guard of the two they have received in this trade, because he could lead a second unit well in time. It is that word though, time, which has not been kind to Brooks in the past and may continue to haunt his career going forward. This is a new and positive direction for MarShon Brooks and his career, he just has to turn this small opportunity he has been given into something much bigger and more important. He is a much better player than people give him credit for, just remember you read that here first.