The Indiana Pacers have been looking for a veteran backup point guard, and they may have found their man in Aaron Brooks.
Shams Charania of The Vertical is reporting that the Pacers are in the process of securing the services of Brooks. Charania added that Indiana also considered re-signing free agent Ty Lawson.
Brooks spent the last two years with the Chicago Bulls. The 31-year-old appeared in 69 games last season, averaging 7.1 points and 2.6 assists over 16.1 minutes of action. He shot 40.1 percent from the field and made an average of one three-pointer a contest while shooting 35.7 percent from long distance.
The 6-footer is a very streaky shooter although he can be dangerous, especially when left open. He is not a good distributor and is virtually non-existent on the defensive end.
Brooks has been mostly a backup throughout his seven-year career. He has also played for the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Denver Nuggets.
Lawson struggled mightily last year with the Houston Rockets and Pacers. He appeared in 66 games overall though only 13 of those games were with Indiana, where he averaged 4.9 points along with 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds. The 28-year-old shot 41.8 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc with the Pacers.
Lawson has reportedly drawn interest from other teams.
Brooks will likely battle Joe Young to be the main backup to Jeff Teague, who the Pacers got in a three-way trade with Atlanta and Utah. Indiana sent George Hill to Utah in the deal, and the Jazz traded away the No. 12 pick in the 2016 draft.
Teague had spent his entire seven-year career with Atlanta, but ESPN reported that the 28-year-old wanted out because the Hawks were leaning toward going forward with Dennis Schroder at the point.
Teague is coming off a season where his numbers were slightly below what they were during the 2014-15 campaign. He averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 assists and hauled in 2.7 rebounds while shooting 43.9 percent from the floor and a career-best 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Teague is very quick and thrives in the full court, as well as pick-and-roll situations. He is a decent shooter overall, but he is very good at the foul line.
Young, a second-round pick of the Pacers in 2015, played sparingly last season. The 6-foot-2 point guard out of Oregon averaged 9.4 minutes of action in 41 contests. He produced 3.8 points, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 rebounds during his time on the court as he shot just 36.7 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Young is very athletic and is seen as an explosive scorer and finisher. He demonstrated his ability during the Orlando Summer League, where he averaged 11.5 points along with 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 24.5 minutes over four games. He shot 45 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc although he really only had one great game. Young, who also committed 2.5 turnovers a contest, poured in 22 points as he made 8-of-12 shots from the field as well as 5-of-7 on his three-point attempts.
Rodney Stuckey can also play the point, but he is more suited for the shooting guard position.
If/when Brooks does officially sign, Indiana will be at the 15-player maximum limit, but the Pacers will also likely be under the salary cap by at least $5 million, according to Basketball Insiders. Meaning that they will have some flexibility if they wanted to improve the roster through a trade or eat some salary while signing another free agent. That also doesn’t include second-round draft pick Georges Niang, who remains unsigned.
Glenn Robinson III and Shayne Whittington are the most likely players to be removed from the roster as they both possesses non-guaranteed deals. Robinson, Niang, and Whittington performed admirably well during summer league action.
Robinson led the Pacers with 15.6 points and was second to Niang with 5.6 caroms a game. The 22-year-old, who has been inconsistent as a shooter during his two-year NBA career, made 49.2 percent of his shots and 38.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Robinson reached double-figures in all five summer league games and shot near 50 percent or better in four of the five contests.
Whittington averaged 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds while also blocking 1.4 shots in his 17.4 minutes of action. The 25-year-old had three double-figure scoring games but also had a game with just two points and one game where he went scoreless.
Niang shot the ball well during the entire summer league, but his best performance occurred during his debut. The 23-year-old posted a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) as he made 6-of-8 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Niang averaged 10.2 points and 6.2 caroms while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from the three-point line.
[Photo by David Banks/AP]