1.First to find a new team-Mike Dunleavy Jr.
-I know according to Mike Wells of the Indy star even though he did not include Solomon Jones in any of his free agent Pacer analyses' of the Pacers 5 free agents for next season (Josh McRoberts, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Solomon Jones, T.J. Ford, and Jeff Foster), he seems to think all aside from Foster will find new teams. But it's not like Mike Wells said anything about being "shocked" to see McRob back in a Pacers uniform or "it's time for" McRob "to find a new team" like he did with TJ Ford and Mike Doneleaving (and we all know how right Mike Wells can be on his predictions with the Pacers). Which means the Pacers will be willing to make room for McRob on their roster if he'll either play for less then what he's worth in the open free agent market or take either a one or two year deal where the Pacers would either buy out his contract or give him an ETO with what the contract is worth determining if that ETO is a team or player option. For this reason (even though I know McRob in all likelyhood won't take any contract longer then 3-7 years) I think it's pretty obvious Mike Dunleaving will be the first Pacer to find a new team. According to Mike Wells the Pacers have no intention what so ever of re-signing anyone on their team aside from McRob and Foster (with basically little intention to sign McRob) who were the only 2 free agent players the Pacers invited to their OTA's this summer. And lets just face the facts since the NBA free agency period will start December 9th and both the 2011 & 2012 free agent classes likely will not be combined. I think one could argue that Mike Dunleavy is a top 10 or at least top 20 free agent in the 2011 class which appears to be by far the worst in NBA history and since the Pacers have no plans what so ever of re-signing him I think he may be the only Pacers free agent with a new team by December 9th since TJ Ford and Solomon Jones have little to no value in the free agent market and likely will not get anything higher then a one year minimum wage deal.
-I know allot of people think the Pacers need to trade Danny Granger and I will admit that in some situations such as say the Pacers next season seeing George Hill fairing extremely well at SG would favor the Pacers trading Granger and Dahntay Jones for someone like Al Jefferson of the Jazz. But lets just face the facts, we don't know how Hill will fair in the Pacers system as possibly a SG and it's hard to say what the Pacers will do with the future of their team in the free agent market since next season's class appears to be by far the worst in NBA history (thanks allot David "Dumb ass" Stern for giving us Pacers fans the worst free agent class by ending the lockout in 2011 instead of the best if the season were canceled). Plus Danny Granger is a great player, he led the team in points last season and aside from Reggie Miller has more 3 pointers then any other player in franchise history. And lets just face the facts Granger is who the Pacers have been building their franchise around since the 38 St. Gun Jack (AKA Stephen "Just Shoot Me" Jackson) strip club shooting. Plus Granger looked better then anyone on the Pacers against the Bulls in the playoffs.
3.Best Addition-Darren "DC" Collison
-2 summers ago Larry Bird made a 3 team trade involving the Pacers giving up Troy Murphy, the Nets giving up Trevor Ariza, and the Hornets giving up Darren "DC" Collison and James Posey; the Pacers getting DC and James Posey, the Nets getting Troy Murphy, and the Hornets getting Trevor Ariza. Now I Know on paper since DC ended up being the best PG the Pacers have had since their ABA days emerging as the teams second leading scorer the Pacers seem to have gotten the best end of this trade. But it's not like this trade was as bad as any stupid trades the Lakers who I might add will be totally screwed once the NBA seasons starts and WILL NOT MAKE IT BACK TO AN NBA FINALS FOR AT LEAST 2 DECADES have made heavily favoring them. The Pacers still had to take James Posey and his worthless 7 million dollar contract and they had to get rid of their second leading scorer from 2 seasons ago in Troy Murphy. And of course DC proved to be a valuable part of the Pacers offense against the Bulls in the playoffs. Not to mention the fact that unlike all the other PG's who have played for the Pacers all the fans seem to enjoy watching him play.
4.Likely To Have the Ugliest Return-T.J. Ford
(Once again, that's right Ford everyone in Indiana still hates you)
-haha bet you all thought I was going to put Mike Doneleaving here. Well I'm not, because TJ Ford has shown extremely poor play for the Pacers ever since they traded for him in 2008 that yes even looked worst then Doneleavy's, and his fat ass over priced contract he SHOULD HAVE TAKEN AN ETO ON LAST SEASON TO HELP THE TEAM (thanks allot TJ your almost as bad as David Stern) have been more disappointing to the Pacers then Mike Dunleavy Jr. and his over priced contract. If TJ Ford ends up doing something for a team like the Miami Heat and gets a ring, fans in Conseco (even though I'm not by any means saying it's going to happen) next season will be furious at him if his team comes into Conseco having beat the Pacers once in the regular season in their only meeting, swept the team in the divisional round of the 2012 NBA playoffs, and becomes the starting PG who ends up better then Mike Bibby for a team like the Heat's. Now I'm not saying all that is going to happen there are allot of big if's in that statement but it could. And even if it doesn't happen, Mike Wells still really threw TJ Ford under the bus in his article titled "It's Time For TJ Ford To Find A New Team" which will just egg on more hatred for TJ Ford when he comes to Conseco Field house with another team especially if he is in that team's starting line up. Plus it's not like anyone thinks Jamaal Tinsley (who was technically a Pacer last season since the Pacers were paying him to do nothing thanks to David "Dumb Ass" Stern's stupid rules and he wasn't with any professional basketball team) is going to be good in the NBA D-league. I mean come one LA Jamaal TInsley #1 in the 2011 D-League draft really? That's pretty pathetic.
5.Biggest Surprise-Frank Vogel
-This season Larry Bird FINALLY did what the fans wanted and fired Jim O'Brien surprisingly midway through the season. And I will admit that when Larry Bird announced Frank Vogel as the Pacers head coach, I thought the team was doomed and their goes the Pacers season (as if it didn't already seem lost with O'Brien as the head coach) especially because Lester Connor (the guy who stepped in for Jim O'Brien 2 seasons ago when he was absent from coaching the Pacers a few games) had signed with another team. And I thought it was time for the Pacers to look at a new head coach in the free agent market some such as say Brian Shaw or an assistant to Doc Rivers in the 2011 off season. Plus allot of fans from other teams very knowledgeable in basketball especially the pros didn't have much confidence in Vogel either. Boy did Vogel ever turn heads on that one giving the Pacers a winning record as the head coach and taking the team to the playoffs for the first time sine 2006 without them having to worry about the Stolen Pistons and their Convict fans. And on top of all that next season he has Brian Shaw (who everyone thought would be the Lakers next head coach instead of that choker) as his right hand man. TALK ABOUT A HOLE IN ONE!!!!!!!!!
6.Biggest Disappointment-Brandon Rush
-In 2008, because of where he was drafted and what he did in college for the national champion Jayhawks allot of people thought Brandon Rush would be good and maybe just maybe live up to his word of becoming the next Reggie Miller. And in Rush's first 2 seasons as a Pacer he managed to get off to a terrible start, be shopped around a few times in the trade market by Larry Bird, almost get traded to another team, then at the end of the season play his way out of being traded over the summer. Last season things were different for Brandon Rush as at the beginning of the season Jim O'Brien benched him for Mike Dunleavy Jr. and in the middle of the season Frank Vogel benched Brandon Rush for Paul Goerge and Mike Dunleavy for Brandon Rush. And Rush failed miserably in earning his starting spot back this season and having the breakout year everyone has been waiting patiently for playing awful in the playoffs, missing big shots, and constantly getting in foul trouble. Plus this time Brandon Rush didn't play his way out of not being on the trading block in the regular or post season. And it's not like Rush is a good person like Reggie Miller was either, last off season he did get caught with some chronic.
7.Defensive MVP-Roy Hibbert
-Mr. Area 55 himself, that's right arguably the people's champ at least with Pacers fans Roy Hibbert gets the defensive MVP nod for averaging more blocked shots and rebounds per game in the playoffs then any other Pacer not to mention the fact that Frank Vogel saved Mr. Hibbert from sports psychology last season.
8.Best negotiator during the lockout-Dahntay Jones
-Yes it is true and I cannot believe I'm saying this, I'm giving Dahntay Jones who did play for Duke the poop that makes you wanna puke the award for best negotiator in the NBA lockout. The Pacers used him as their player rep and from what I've read on this site he did a pretty good job as their rep. And it also seemed like from what I've read on this site Dahntay played a big part in getting a season this year. But that still doesn't change the fact that I think the Pacers should do all they can to get him gone in 2 seasons even if it means buying out his contract this season allowing them to terminate it at the end of the season. Or he may just use the ETO who knows.
9.Rookie of the Year-Paul Goerge
-What can I say Paul Goerge ended up being a great pickup for the Pacers at SG in the draft playing very similar to a young Kobe Bryant without all the rape and drama queen issues and maybe not quite much athleticism. But either way Paul George played great defense for the Pacers and ended up on the NBA's all rookie team list. And if Paul Goerge wouldn't have gotten in so much foul trouble when he played the Bulls, he may have gotten the award for defensive MVP. Plus Paul George's issues with foul trouble and shooting the ball on paper seem like they can be fixed when it comes time for the Pacers to play in the 2012 NBA playoffs if they make it.
10.Fan Favorite-Roy Hibbert
-I know Roy Hibbert may not be the Pacers MVP, but he still seems to be the fan favorite. He has area 55 that gives back to you the fans, he does allot for the Indianapolis community, he really seems to like it here in Indianapolis Indiana, he really seems to like the Pacers organization now that Jim O'Brien is gone, and he always seems to land #1 fan Michael Hobson in his area 55 leading the cheers. Plus after conducting an interview with someone from Washington DC who followed Hibbert during his Georgetown days Kravits and Eddie did say Roy Hibbert seemed like "the person you would want you daughter to date". Which in my mind means he is the last person you would ever expect to get in trouble on 38th street.
11.First to be on the trading block-Brandon Rush
-Currently entering by far the worst free agent class in NBA history the Pacers set 20 million under the cap which means they will have to spend 11 million in by far the most worthless piece of crap free agent class in NBA history on players for one year deals (thanks allot David "Dumb Ass" Stern) and possibly look at next season's class if they want to participate in the 2011 season. This off season during the lockout to my knowledge, 4 Pacers were not invited to OTA's and they were Brandon Rush, Solomon Jones, T.J. Ford, and Mike Dunleavy Jr. And since Brandon Rush failed in the many attempts the Pacers gave him to show he could live up to his word of "becoming the next Reggie Miller" I think now would be a good time to trade Brandon Rush for someone worthless who can fill the Pacers cap for one season such as say DiSagana Diop, I know in the past the Bobcats have been interested in Rush. Or maybe the Pacers can get a few draft picks for Rush. Either way I think it's safe to say now is a good time for him to be traded to a new team while he still has a little value. And I also think it's very safe to say everyone including Rush knows he will be on the trading block once the new CBA is ratified. Merry Christmas Brandon, the Pacers could be giving you a new team as your Christmas present.
12.The Gunjack (AKA Stephen "Just Shoot Me" Jackson)/Tinsley Award-Lance "Staircase" Stephenson
-This is an award I like to give to the Pacers who gets in the most trouble with the law and makes the team look bad just like Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen "Just Shoot Me" Jackson BY FAR THE 2 MOST HATED PACERS IN FRANCHISE HISTORY did when they played for the Pacers constantly making the franchise play worse and worst each season even when just one of them was with the Pacers once Tinsley got his big pay day in 2004. Aside from making the team worse it's not like Lance "Staircase" Stephenson is much different then the Gun jack and Jamaal Tinsley, he's lucky he's not in jail for throwing his girlfriend down the stairs after he was drafted last year, he's sucks just like Tinsley and Gun Jack, and he got into a fight with Dahntay Jones labeling him a bad apple in the locker room just like Stephen "Just Shoot Me" Jackson. But even though he took Magnum Rolle's (who shouldn't have been cut) spot on the Pacers roster it's not like he makes the Pacers a worse team. And I gotta admit this award likely won't be given out every year because lets just face the facts it takes allot for someone to be labeled the same type of player as either Stephen "Just Shoot Me" Jackson or Jamaal Tinsley. And let me be the first to make it clear that I do not like giving this award out.