Everyone has been understandably frustrated with how this team has played so far this season and there have been a lot of suggestions as to how we should use our expiring contracts to bring in new talent. I'm here to offer an alternative and see what the free agency pool has to offer.
Conditions: I'll be sticking to guys where the interest is likely to be mutual. For example, we probably couldn't get our hands on Al Horford and we probably won't be going after a star small forward type. So without further ado, here are some options.
PG: Don't see us doing a whole lot here, but if we did go for a backup point guard he'd probably need to be a veteran guy who won't be too demanding of playing time.
Options: Earl Boykins, JJ Barea.
Boykins would be fun just because he's short and having him would be kind of novel. Barea can shoot threes but not a whole lot else. Bottom line, I can't really see the Pacers using a lot of free agency money on the point guard position.
SG: Again, I don't see a whole lot of movement of this front. The Pacers have two young guys in Brandon Rush and Paul George, not to mention the fact that Dahntay Jones will likely get more run when JOB's services aren't retained and Lance Stephenson could be a factor down the road at either the point or here.
Options: Morris Peterson, Willie Green (?)
Either option would give Indiana a decent depth veteran but this roster has more glaring needs so I wouldn't consider either option particularly likely.
SF: Here's where the fun could start. Obviously we have Danny, but after him this position gets pretty thin with Dunleavy's departure and the franchise's desire for Paul George to play shooting guard. Since we really don't want James Posey as Granger's main backup, the Pacers clearly need more depth. It's also a spot where some quality veteran leadership and experience could be added for the right price.
Options: Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince.
I'm not sure how interested Prince would be in a backup role, but he definitely won't continue making the money he is this year and he would bring valuable championship experience (kind of like Posey, only he can do more than shoot exclusively threes.) Battier is probably the more likely option, as his situation better lends itself to a prominent bench position. Both are above average defenders and can hit from the perimeter, both of which would be welcome qualities.
PF: This should be the main focus this offseason. Tyler is a really good player but I think he'd really strengthen our bench a la Antonio Davis. If the Pacers can pick up a better 4 than Tyler they'll be in good shape.
To be honest, I have Landry and Humphries here as consolation prizes. Nothing against either one of them, but neither one would be cheaper or all that better than Tyler. West on the other hand would be a huge get. The Hornets are having trouble getting West to agree to an extension and he has an early termination option in his contract. The Pacers could have the flexibility to extend a preferable offer to West, which could significantly better this team.
C: Roy Hibbert is the center of the future, but he needs help so we'll take a look at a couple of solid veteran backups.
Options: Ronny Turiaf, Chuck Hayes
Both of these guys are tough veterans with plenty left in the tank. Both are slightly undersized (or in Hayes' case, more than slightly) but are tenacious defenders who can make life difficult for opponents and can play the 4 in a pinch.
Here's my version of the Pacers' roster after a little free agent spree (rookies not withstanding)
Granger/Battier/Posey or rookie
West/Hansbrough/McBobs or rookie
Hibbert/Turiaf/Hayes or rookie
I can see this type of group gelling together and really having a chance in a couple years to compete for a title in the East.
What do you think? Would you rather go for a trade or wait it out?