Pacers Add Shot Blocking Depth With Solomon Jones, Raising More Questions

Is a little shot blocking depth for the Pacers worth a valuable roster spot?

Is a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics dead or will more players be on the move?

Why hasn't Earl Watson signed yet? Is he holding up the deal or are the Pacers?

Will Mike Dunleavy be ready sooner than expected?

Goodness, I had no idea that Solomon Jones, a player I knew next to nothing about last week, could generate so many questions so quickly. Please allow me to explore these questions a little further.

Jeff Rabjohns reports that the Pacers have agreed to a 2-year deal with former Atlanta big, Solomon Jones. Jones just turned 25 and will be heading into his fourth NBA season spending the previous three scrounging minutes off the bench. At 6'10" with a 7'4" wingspan, Jones definitely has the goods to turn shots away around the rim, but don't expect much impact at the other end of the floor. With the Pacers due for a rags to riches miracle, it would be nice if Jones developed into a stronger presence than anticipated, but planning on divine intervention in July is useless.

This move makes me wonder just what else Larry Bird and David Morway have in the works since adding Jones puts the roster at 12 pending the expected signings of A.J. Priceand Earl Watson which would bump that number up to 14. Mike Wells mentioned that the Pacers would prefer to go into the season with 14 players, which I whole-heartedly endorse. The flexibility to add short-term, inexpensive help should injuries, poor play or the right trade scenario present itself is valuable for a team closely monitoring its bottom line.

At this point, ny sign-and-trade with Boston for Marquis Danielscould only include one player since Quisy's spot on the roster has already been vacated and that would max out the roster at 15.Hopefully Jones proves me wrong, but I'd rather have that open spot than tie up a roster spot on a player who may not play during the season. It's hard to look at the front-court depth now and not think that Jeff Foster or Troy Murphy could be on the way out prior to the start of the season.

And what about Earl Watson?

He was reportedly set to sign with the Pacers this past week. Even Bird himself mentioned that the point guard situation should be resolved by the end of the week. So where is he? Maybe he expects one of the Pacers' current point guards to be dealt before he signs. Maybe the Pacers want to deal one of their current point guards before they sign Watson. Of course, maybe the deal is done and we'll hear about it in the next couple of days.

While the Jones signing deepens the front court, the wing position remains thin with Dahntay Jones backing up both Danny Granger and Brandon Rush. Should a sign-and-trade go through with Boston, some sort of wing player whether it be Tony Allen or J.R. Giddenswill be in the mix coming back to the Pacers. Of course, Mike Dunleavy is also on the roster but not expected to play until January at the earliest.

Or is he?

Dun's blog entries have been extremely positive all summer and his latest post continues the trend, even discussing the basketball related rehab he started doing since returning from vacation. While he's been positive about his progress all summer, Dun has avoided laying out his goals for returning to action. That's partly because he's in unknown territory with this knee recovery so it is a day-to-day assessment. Still, I can't help but get the vibe that he's aiming for an earlier return than anyone else expects and has yet to have those thoughts discouraged. Whenever he returns, Dunleavy coming off the bench will be a huge boost and give the Pacers plenty of wing options to mix and match depending on the situation and opponent.

OK, that pretty much covers my brain dump upon hearing that Jones was indeed set to join the Pacers. What am I missing? Oh, and thanks for keeping the news updated in the FanPosts and FanShots.

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