Brooks, Vesely join Nuggets in Chicago

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 21, 2014
Aaron Brooks watched attentively as Denver assistant Melvin Hunt used a laptop to go over the Nuggets' system. Jan Vesely also kept a close watch on the screen from his seat on the other side of Hunt. The pregame locker-room tutorial was just one slice of a busy Friday for Brooks and Vesely, who were acquired in separate trades on Thursday. They joined their new team in Chicago, passed their physicals and were available for Denver's game against the Bulls. ''Luckily I've been through it before,'' Brooks said. ''Just know what to expect. It's a good opportunity. Try to get on a run down the stretch. Happy they allowed me to come here, traded for me.'' The Nuggets sent shooting guard Jordan Hamilton to Houston for Brooks, a veteran guard who averaged 7 points in 43 games with the Rockets. With Ty Lawson sidelined by a rib injury, Brooks is expected to get plenty of time at the point after he averaged only 16.7 minutes this season in his previous stop. Vesely was acquired in a three-team deal that sent disgruntled point guard Andre Miller from Denver to Washington on NBA trade deadline day. Vesely, a 7-foot center who was selected with the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft, averaged 3.2 points in 33 games with the Wizards. The contracts for Brooks and Vesely expire after this season, giving the Nuggets increased roster flexibility. First-year Denver coach Brian Shaw compared the situation to when he was traded from Boston to Miami during the 1991-92 season. ''I think in Aaron's situation and our short rotation at the point guard position, he may be put in that position tonight, just being thrown out there and just play,'' Shaw said. ''He's smart. He's played and had productive seasons in the league before, so I'm not as much worried about that. ''Jan may get a little bit more time. In those positions, we're pretty solid right now, give him a little bit more time to get to know the system.'' Brooks was selected 26th overall by Houston in 2007 and had a breakout playoff run in 2009, averaging 16.8 points in 13 games, including a 34-point performance in Game 4 of Houston's second-round series against the Lakers. He then set career highs with averages of 19.6 points and 5.4 assists in 2009-10, when he was named the league's most improved player. Brooks had to approve the deal to the Nuggets. ''It's a good team,'' he said. ''There's still the possibility we could still make the playoffs. Of course, I wanted to play. Always had a good time in Denver.'' --- Jay Cohen can be reached at
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