The Phoenix Suns announced today in a bit of a housekeeping move that they made a qualifying offer to point guard Aaron Brooks. Brooks would have become an unrestricted free agent if the offer hadn't been made. He will now be a restricted free agent once free agency begins. Normally, the free agency period would start on July 1, but that's also the date the current CBA expires and is likely to be the start of the NBA lock out.
Once a new CBA is agreed to there will be a free agency period that could be very short depending on how long the lock out lasts. At that point teams can make an offer to Brooks that the Suns have the right to match. If the Suns match the offer but Brooks rejects it, he would play out his final year at the qualifying offer rate which is reported to be $2.9m and then become an unrestricted free agent the following year.
Brooks was acquired from Houston in a February trade deadline deal that sent Goran Dragic and Orlando's first round pick (no. 23) to the Rockets. It was believed that Brooks could give the Suns a scoring punch off the bench and help get them to the playoffs but he continued to play poorly as he had done all season before the trade. Keep an eye on that 23rd pick in Thursday draft and hope that the player doesn't pan out and embarrass the Suns further.