Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rockets Trade Away Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks

The Houston Rockets have traded Shane Battier and Ish Smith to the Memphis Grizzlies for center Hasheem Thabeet. They also dealt Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragic in a separate deal.

The Breakdown

Houston Rockets: Houston is entering full rebuilding mode as they made these deals to acquire picks. We're not expecting much from Hasheem Thabeet, but team managers in the deepest of leagues may want to stash him in case the Rockets give him some run. As for Dragic, he'll take over Brooks' spot as the team's back up point guard. This move solidifies Lowry as the starter for the rest of the season, making Kyle a must add in any league where he's available.

The loss of Battier and Brooks frees up playing time at small forward and shooting guard. Look for Chase Budinger and Courtney Lee to be see additional playing time as a result. They're both strong speculative additions at this point.

Memphis Grizzlies: Battier should move right into the starting line up as Rudy Gay's replacement at small forward. We don't expect much of a change in his production until Gay comes back. When Rudy returns, it'll be interesting to see whether Battier remains a starter or if he's moved to a bench role. Gay isn't expected to return until the last few weeks of the season, so Battier owners shouldn't have much to worry about for the next month.

Phoenix Suns: With Steve Nash running the point, Brooks doesn't figure to see much playing time. His only real chance to log meaningful minutes in Phoenix is if he can flourish playing alongside Nash, much like Leandro Barbosa used to do. In all likelihood, the move hurts Brooks' fantasy value to the point that he doesn't warrant consideration in standard formats.

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