The Indiana Pacers have reached agreement on a one-year, $2.5 million deal with free agent point guard Aaron Brooks, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical.
The team's addition of Brooks, who averaged 7.1 points and 2.6 assists on 40 percent shooting during his second season with the Bulls, will push Indiana's roster one name over the full 15-player maximum, after second-round draft pick Georges Niang officially signed last week.
All of which means inking the 31-year-old reserve guard could potentially mark the end of Shayne Whittington's tenure with the Blue & Gold, as the August 1 deadline to pickup or decline his option fast approaches.
After improving his three-point conversion rate to 38 percent over the final full month of the D-League season, Whittington averaged less than one attempt (0.4) per game at the Orlando Pro Summer League. A real oddity, given that it appeared he was working to extend his shooting range with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, as he attempted the second-most (168) shots of anyone on the team from that distance.
Joe Young, who averaged 11.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 2.8 turnovers on 45 percent shooting in Orlando, could also end up being adversely affected by the team's decision to add Brooks to the mix. With the second-year guard continuing to struggle to make plays for others when his speed, shooting, or lack of size fail him, bench minutes that may still have otherwise been earmarked for him will mostly likely end up being transferred to the 31-year-old veteran.
Of course, with veteran experience also comes age, which Indiana's backcourt will have in spades next season with three guards on the wrong side of 30.
Whether or not age played a role in Brooks' inconsistent play last season is unclear, but it is notable that he tallied more than twice (55) as many games where he scored fewer than 10 points as he did where he scored above that same benchmark (19).
Overall, with such slim pickings among free agent guards, coming to terms with Brooks should be perceived as a relatively inexpensive means for Indiana to acquire more speed-oriented depth as well as infuse the league's worst three-point shooting bench (29%), soon to be anchored by Al Jefferson's post-heavy offense, with a career 37 percent marksman.
According to The Vertical's Bobby Marks, the Pacers will still have $5.3 million in cap space after signing Brooks.