Brooks is one of a few NBA players who signed contracts overseas that would not allow him to return to the NBA until after his new team's season is over. Brooks signed a $2 million-plus offer to play a season for Chinese Basketball Association four-time defending champion Guangdong.
Brooks is a restricted free agent and the Suns will probably still hold his rights upon his return. Grant Hill is the Suns only other free agent and he's unrestricted.
Brooks was traded to the Suns mid-season for Goran Dragic and a first round pick. He averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 assists for the Suns in 25 games. His absence leaves Zabian Dowdell as the backup point guard but the Suns will likely explore the free agent market.