Here's what i know about the Pacers from a recent internet trawl
- Other than Danny Granger they have no other star players on their roster, but some interesting young guys with potential in Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, and Paul George
- The Pacers are in the conundrum of not being good enough to make the playoffs, but being too good to win a high draft pick to improve. They drafted at #10 in 2010, #13 in 2009, #11 in 2008, and #11 in 2007. Couple this with a pretty poor track record in the draft from larry legend and you've got a blueprint for a team that hasn't managed to improve from the draft like the Blazers and Thunder.
- The team is gearing up for a big free agent run in the summer of 2011 with about $45million in salary coming off the books after this season, but indiana isn't exactly a premier free agent destination.
- The Pacers biggest needs are at Point Guard and Power Forward.
With this information it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility that the Pacers would be willing to trade Danny Granger for young talent and expiring contracts. This should set up the pacers with a high draft pick next season and even more cap space than projected which could see them drastically improve in the 2011-12 season.
Here's my suggested trade:
Pros for Phoenix
- Granger is a certified all-star averaging 25/5/3 last year. He can play anywhere from SG to PF, is a great three-point shooter, and although he wasn't the most efficient player last year (42% from the field and 37% from three) that efficiency is likely to improve with less shots and better oppurtunities with a much better supporting cast in Phoenix than in Indiana.
- TJ Ford is a more than seviceable backup for Nash with career averages of 12ppg and 6apg and although he's overpaid his contract expires after this season.
- Both Jones and Rush are decent perimeter defenders and either would be a decent addition to our formiddable bench
Cons for Phoenix
- Dragic is the only decent backup Nash has ever had in Phoenix and is supposedly the heir apparent. Although Ford would be a decent backup for the upcoming season, after his contract expires next summer we could potentially have the same problems again.
- The trade doesn't solve our biggest need of a true Power Forward, although Granger is a better rebounder than Turkoglu.
- We'd have nearly $20 million a season for the next four seasons committed to two guys who both play best at Power Forward, although Granger can also play the 2 pretty well
Potential line-up following trade
SG: Childress/ (Dudley/Rush/Jones depending on trade)
SF: Turkoglu/ Hill
PF: Granger/ Warrick/ Lawal
C: Lopez/ Frye/ Collins