A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

NBA Fan Q&A: Indiana Pacers

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With their ranking of #21 on the NBA Franchise Power Rankings, I asked Indiana Pacers fans on RealGM how they felt about their team:

Q: Are you satisfied with the direction of the team? A lot of people criticize the Pacers for having a ceiling as 1st or 2nd round knockout, without a true superstar to help them contend. Would you trade Danny Granger for a top 5 draft pick next season if you could?

Miller4Ever: The way we are headed is positive. Our young talent crop is promising with the rare true center Roy Hibbert, the guard tandem of Darren Collison and the newly acquired George Hill, energy man Tyler Hansbrough, and the unlimited ceiling of Paul George. The Pacers as they are now won’t make noise in the playoffs for at least another year, and Granger is not getting younger. The team doesn’t have a scorer of Granger’s caliber currently, but there is a great balance of skills from everyone else. If he were to be traded (a top 5 pick is great value for him) somebody would be able to step up.

pacers33granger: A: It’s hard not to be at least satisfied with the direction of the team. Bird and Morway did all they could really with what they had post-brawl. The team has interesting talent at nearly every position and I think pretty much any Pacer fan is intrigued by how Frank Vogel was able to run the team after his mid-season promotion. The team lacks any true star power, but it has the makings of the 90s Pacers teams who may have won a title had they not played during the Jordan era. I think next season would really depend on if I’d be for a Granger move. If we didn’t fill our PF need this year through free agency or a trade and made little progress I’d definitely think about it with the talent in next years draft.

jowglenn: Absolutely. Given where we were a few years ago (dunleavy, murphy, o’neal, granger, no other youth of any note) to where we are now, I’m thrilled. We now have youth, no bad contracts, cap space. Would I trade Granger? Maybe. Depends who it is available in the draft and how we think they will be in the NBA.

Q: If we have a free agency for the upcoming season, two of the biggest names available are Nene and David West – both of whom are perfect fits for the Pacers at PF. If given the choice between Nene (assume 11-12 million annually) or David West (assume 8-9 million annually), which would you sign?

Miller4ever: A: Nene. Younger, less of an injury flight risk, and a better fit next to Hibbert, as well as the ability to play backup C. He is tougher, a better defender, rebounder, and with Hibbert’s finesse game, there will be scary balance in the post offense.

pacers33granger: A: I would definitely prefer Nene. West would be a decent fit, but I think Nene would be damn near perfect. He would really help when Hibbert gets into foul trouble. Running a Granger, Hansbrough, Nene frontcourt is much better than Granger, Hansbrough, McRoberts (or Foster who is getting up there and has had injury concerns lately).

jowglenn: Nene, easily. West just had a huge injury and I’m not sure how he’s going to come back from it. he can’t really play Center. Nene, I feel, can play both C and PF, thus giving us a very nice rotation, and he’s been very durable the last few years.

Q: How confident are you in Darren Collision as a long term PG? Would you have traded him for one of the young PGs out of this draft like Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Jimmer Fredette?

Miller4ever:  I am 50/50 on Collison. He doesn’t show the mental toughness from a leader, but he is good at what he does, and a starter in this league. I was very interested in Kemba, as he has that mental toughness, as well as Knight. If it was a straight swap for either of those guys, I would still be 50/50. Fredette is someone I feel will be a good pro, but doesn’t fill it by being a prototypical point guard.

pacers33granger: I’m generally fine with Collison going forward, especially when we have Hill backing him up now and could possibly get something from Stephenson in the future. I’d probably have traded him for Kemba or Knight. I see them as being at worst on Collison’s level likely and having a couple more years of rookie scale on their contract would be enticing with Hill, Hibbert, and Hansbrough coming up soon for deals (Rush too, but not sure he’s a keeper).

jowglenn: Eh… I feel like he’s the most easily tradeable guy of our 6 key pieces (collison, hill, george, granger, hansbrough, hibbert). Given that we now have George Hill, yes, I’d probably take a chance on a higher-upside guy and trade collison.

Q: What do you project for Paul George in his prime statistically? Do you believe he has star potential?

Miller4ever: Paul George is shades of Tracy McGrady with much more defensive impact. I feel in his prime he could be a 20/7/4/1/1-type player, perhaps even more scoring than that. His shooting percentage in his rookie year didn’t really show how good of a shooter he is, as the earlier Jim O’Brien offense had him chucking 3’s when he didn’t have the strength for it.

pacers33granger: It’s hard to project because it depends on the situation. I agree that he has T-Mac like potential, but I highly doubt he ever becomes one of the top scorers in the league along with being a versatile defender. I’d say on this team he’d be somewhat of a Scottie Pippen second banana. Around 20 points with great defense.

jowglenn: I’m no good at extrapolating statistics, so I won’t offer a statistical estimate. I do think that he could be all-nba defense.

Q: If you have to rank the players on the team according to whom you’d ask the most for in a trade, or who’s most valuable going forward, what would be your rank?

Miller4ever: Hard to say, but Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, and Paul George are definitely the top tier. George Hill and Collison are next, and then everyone else is pretty much fair game.




The rest don’t really matter much in terms of value. They’d either be throw ins in trades (Dahntay Jones, Price) or pointless to trade because they’re worth more to us (Stephenson) or free agents.



Q: Predict what the Pacers record would have been if we had played an 82 G season (edit: Looks like we will after all!)

Miller4ever: 42-40. We are clearly better than last season, from coaching staff to players. We have the consistency of having the same core, and we would definitely be over .500 had we signed one of West or Nene.

pacers33granger: With no major free agents/trades: 41-41 I can’t see this team as is doing better than .500 and being another first round exit.
With Nene/West and other minor moves: 46-36 I feel this team would improve greatly with someone of Nene’s caliber and another year experience.

jowglenn: 44-38

Written by jr.

October 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

One Response

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  1. RAWR!

    Lance Stephenson

    October 30, 2011 at 7:19 am

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