Brooks has fallen out of the rotation since hurting his ankle, and recently left a game during the 4th quarter because of frustrations with his lack of playing time. Courtney Lee is an efficient 40% from beyond the arc and would help this teams 23rd ranked defense improve, especially on the perimeter.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Kirk Hinrich on a few occasions and from what I've observed the guy is as classy as they come as far as NBA players go. He's a consummate professional who has never sounded off amid losing teams and trade rumors through-out his career.
How many other veteran point-gaurds would welcome getting benched by two rookie point-gaurds in less than three years and agree to "mentor" them despite the fact he's in the prime of his career?
The fact is though that Kirk is not a part of this team's future. Minutes that he's eating up on our young, rebuilding team are minutes that are not being used towards developing a player who can be a part of this club long-term. It's what the Spurs do, it's what the Celtics do/did, and it's what the Lakers have been doing for years. There is no upside with Kirk, lets just speed up the process and move him now.
Houston is in desperate need of stability and leadership at the point guard position: Kirk gives you both of those. 2009-2010 Most Improved Player Aaron Brooks is a talented young guard but he's not mature enough to lead a team in the Western Conference right now. He's set to be a free agent this Summer, and with the recent spats between him and his coaches it's highly unlikely he would want to re-sign. If your Houston wouldn't you want to at least get some compensation for what you've invested in Aaron Brooks?
A John Wall and Aaron Brooks back-court would give us a pair of complementary young guards who would provide a great change of pace but who could also play together. Defensively, John's a big guard (in terms of height and wingspan) and though I'd hesitate to put him on a team's best scorer, I don't doubt he has the capability of defending most shooting-gaurds.
Though i'm not sure if their styles are very similar, I do know that the combo of Wall and Hinrich on the floor at the same time doesn't work. One guy seems to kind of fade off while the other handles the ball and tries to run the offense. Neither one have a consistent out-side shot so they tend get one dimensional when they share the court. And if your Ernie Grunfield, wouldn't you want the increased flexibility of only being on the hook for 1.5 million instead of 9 million after this season? Resign both guys, or let them walk. What we'll get is half a season of them showing that they can play well with our core when given the opportunity.
I included Courtney Lee in this trade as well because he's wasting away on Houston's bench. I remember seeing a proposed trade for him on here a few weeks ago and I loved the idea. Since everyone is so set on building our team like Oklahoma City, I believe Courtney Lee could be our Thabo Sefolosha. Outside shooting threat, defensive pestand all-out hustle guy could be used to describe both players. Lee's gotten the short-end of the straw with his last few moves, getting buried on benches of teams "loaded" at his position. Kevin Martin has emerged as Houston's best player, and Lee isn't going to get any better playing 15-17 minutes a game behind K-Mart and Terrence Williams. Plus he'd still on his rookie deal so he'd come on the cheap at just $1.4 million per season for the next two years. He showed a lot of promise during his rookie year with Orlando and he's hungry to prove himself. Cartier Martin's played well but we're probably one of 2-3 teams in the NBA he could play for, lets start upgrading our depth and not just starters.
So lets take a look at the scenario:
Wizards: PG Kirk Hinrich (2011-$9million/2yrs) to Houston
Houston: PG Aaron Brooks (2011-$2million/1yr) and SG Courtney Lee (2011-$1.4million/2yrs)
The difference of $5.6 million would be made up by an existing Trade Exception Houston received in return for Trevor Ariza, which was worth a total $6.3 million. Though my understanding of trade exceptions is very limited, and assuming you could use the T.E. in the manner I suggested, this could be a big step in our path to rebuilding.