The NBA career of MarShon Brooks started out pretty well before taking a wrong turn and becoming a trading chip, nothing more. The Indiana Pacers, in dire need of a small forward, might be the right team and spot for him to kickstart and get to the place he should have been.
Brooks entered the league in 2011 after an impressive senior year with Providence. He played for the (then) New Jersey Nets, averaging 12.6 points in the shortened 2011-2012 season, making the All-Rookie second team. Then the move to Brooklyn happened, and Brooks became a forgettable bench player, moving from Brooklyn to Boston, Golden State and Los Angeles, barely getting minutes anywhere.
Now he is a free agent, one of the few among those remaining who seem like they can make some sort of impact for any team that signs them. The Indiana Pacers, considering the situation they’re in after Paul George’s injury, might be the ones who need him more than anything else, but there is competition for him as both the Sacramento Kings and another Eastern conference team will be trying to sign him.
Brooks isn’t a classic small forward. He is 6’5 and has played shooting guard for most of his career. He is also not quite the defender the Pacers are used to seeing from their starting five player. However, their bad offseason, a combination of bad luck and bad negotiations, leaves them without too much of a choice. Maybe they’d prefer Shawn Marion, but the competition for him is a lot greater.
Right now, Frank Vogel has Chris Copeland and Solomon Hill as his small forward. Without a solid shooting guard as well, the Indiana Pacers seem to be in a pretty bad situation anyhow. Putting faith on the signing of a player like Brooks, who played just 35 games last season, shows just how drastically things have changed for the team with the best record in the Eastern conference last season.