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How Can The Pacers Get Back On Track This Offseason?|Rumors and Predictions

After a disappointing end to the season in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers are sure to make a few tweaks in order to try and finally make it back to the finals since the 1999-2000 season. The playoffs were marked with drama including Roy Hibbert’s ineffectiveness for the majority of the postseason, Lance Stephenson’s antics vs. LeBron James, and the locker room drama between Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson.

Rumors

Lance Stephenson

From the Associated Press:

Larry Bird on Lance Stephenson “I think his ceiling is what he wants it to be,” said Bird, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations. “I always want him back. You just don’t let talent like that walk away if you can help it.”

From what Bird says, the Pacers would like to resign Stephenson despite his immaturity. However, Larry Bird did also say “There’s going to be a price and we’re not going to go over that.”

Photo via: http://www.thenation.com/blog/180063/lance-stephensons-daring-careless-whispers

Frank Vogel

According to ESPN, sources have confirmed that Frank Vogel will indeed return next year to coach the Pacers. Despite a scare by the Hawks and losing in the Eastern Conference Finals again, Larry Bird is quoted on saying that “Vogel’s job was never in jeopardy.” All this comes in the wake of the rumors swirling around about Vogel possibly being fired.

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert’s turnaround from being an All-Star player to a bench warming player has been alarming. A recent rumor that has been going around that Hibbert is open to being traded. Marc Stein, of ESPN, reports –

“There is said to be some thought on both sides — management and Hibbert’s — that a fresh start would be beneficial for everyone after the big man’s second-half decline. Hibbert’s camp hasn’t outright asked for a trade, sources say, but word is that it wouldn’t exactly oppose one if the Pacers decide to actively shop their center.”

Hibbert being traded would represent a huge change of mind for Pacer’s management. Once a part of their core players, Hibbert’s rapid decline this past season and continuance to not put up max-contract numbers have put the Pacers in a difficult situation.

What could they actually get for Roy Hibbert? Who would be interested?

Teams like Boston and Los Angeles would likely be interested, looking to get back to their winning ways by shoring up their holes at the center position. Also, young teams like Charlotte, Phoenix, and Washington would definitely be interested in adding another piece to their core.

 

Via ESPN Trade Machine
Via ESPN Trade Machine

A deal like this would actually make the Pacers a better team, if Boston threw in one of their gazillion first rounders over the next few seasons.

Via ESPN Trade Machine
Via ESPN Trade Machine

Washington could pull off a sign and trade with Marcin Gortat and throw in a second rounder in this deal.

The Pacers would likely have no shortage of suitors for the disgruntled big man, but the question begs to be asked, “Can they really get enough back for him?”. You don’t want to mess up the chemistry in Indiana..

If there is any left.

NBA Draft

The Pacers do not have a first round pick in the draft this year. They traded their 27th pick to the Phoenix Suns last year in the Luis Scola trade. Frank Vogel plans on building with the roster he has and not by trying to get back into the first round of draft.

Photo via: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2010-06/25/content_10020478_19.htm

Predictions

  • I predict that the Pacers will resign Lance Stephenson to a 2-3 year deal based on his immaturity, yet ability to produce on the court.
  • The Pacers will not trade back into the first round of the draft and will have to improve by making trades.
  • Roy Hibbert will not be traded this offseason. He has too much money on his contract right now (2 years, 30 million) for interested teams to pull the trigger.

Trade Predictions

The one thing the Pacers need is a star point guard. George Hill, while a good point guard, is not a great one. In order for the Pacers to challenge and beat the Heat again, they will have to trade for a guard.

Rajon Rondo

This is a stretch at best but trading for Rondo would immediately improve the Pacers ability to spread the floor and would take some of the pressure off of Paul George. The Pacers would also have to include 2 future first round picks for this trade.

NBA Trade Machine ESPN
NBA Trade Machine ESPN

As of now the starting Power Forward for the Celtics is Brandon Bass. David West would give them an immediate upgrade. Also, West would be able to take Jared Sullinger under his wing and teach him how to be a bully in the post. Avery Bradley looks to be ready to take over the starting role if Rondo was traded. For the Pacers, Rondo would give them the Point Guard they have needed. George Hill would lead the second unit and excel at it. The Pacers would be able to spread the floor and wouldn’t have to run their offense entirely through Paul George anymore. This would be a win win for both the Celtics and the Pacers.

Jeff Teague

While his regular season was all over the place, Teague showed a lot of promise during the playoffs. In the playoffs, Teague averaged 19.3 points, 5 assists, and 1 steal per game. After the playoffs, he has been considered as a rising star in the NBA.

NBA Trade Machine via ESPN
NBA Trade Machine via ESPN

With Jeff Teague taking over the starting role, George Hill would move down to the bench role, leaving C.J. Watson as basically useless. Evan Turner will never be able to maximize his potential while behind Paul George in the depth chart. The Hawks get a SF which they need, and the Pacers get an up and coming star.

 

At the end of the day, these are all just rumors and predictions. We can’t know for sure until we get confirmation from the people involved. Unfortunately, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

 

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