After five seasons and what felt like an eternity with the Michigan Wolverines, Eli Brooks has signed a Summer League deal and Exhibit 10 contract with the Indiana Pacers, as reported first by Andrew Kahn of MLive. The news was later confirmed by the university.
Brooks was a team captain for the Wolverines over the past two seasons and was their second-leading scorer last season. In his final season, Brooks averaged a team-high 36 minutes per game, racking up 12.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 44.4% from the field, 39.4% from three and 87.7% from the free throw line.
On a young Michigan team that would often look like a deer in headlights late in games, Brooks was called upon to be a calming presence and hit big shots to break up scoring droughts. Over his 159 games with the Wolverines, he made a lot of big shots, especially late in last year’s regular season to secure Michigan a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Brooks will not only get a chance to prove himself in the Summer League next month; with an Exhibit 10 contract, he’s essentially got a training camp invite and if he doesn’t make the Pacers roster, the deal incentivizes him to join the team’s G League affiliate.
Brooks wasn’t on the radar for draft analysts, but he’s proven to be a key piece in a lot of important Big Ten games, and Michigan fans will at least get the chance to watch him in Summer League soon.
As our Andrew Bailey wrote in a fantastic piece at season’s end, it’s hard to picture a Michigan team without Brooks. We’ll be sure to keep tabs on him, and wish him the best as he fights for his NBA life.