DISCLAIMER: I am not throwing in the towel on this season. As bad as we have been the past 5 games, we can still make the playoffs (thanks Charlotte!), and that SHOULD be the goal.
That being said, I was in an argument at work this morning that lead to a discussion about possible free agents the Pacers should go after this summer. I have put together a short list of ones I think would contribute in a positive way. Please comment and discuss. Also know that there are obviously more free agents that the Pacers should consider signing, these are just a short few that I selected.
1. David West, PF
West has an Early Termination Option with the Hornets. He's a solid PF that can score from mid-range and from the post. He is a truly fundamental player: rebounds well, decent defender, good ball handler (for a PF). Where he would really benefit us is his leadership. He has proven over and over that he is all about the team he plays for and all about winning. He would be a voice in the lockerroom that perhaps is lacking at the moment. He's averaging over 18 PPG, 7 RPG, and shooting the ball above 50% this season. Although his signing would most likely mean less playing time for McRoberts and Hansbrough (assuming McBob is even re-signed), he would be a significant upgrade at the PF position (even though he is 30 years old).
2. Jason Richardson, SG
Richardson would be a HUGE addition. He won't be cheap, but he would be an immediate upgrade over Rush and/or Dunleavy. He's shooting over 40% this season on 3P% and just over 45% with FG%. He may not be the greatest defender I've ever seen, but he is certainly not worse than what we have now. Further, he gives us what we were going after in O.J. Mayo (minus the young part, as he is 30 yrs old), a talented SG who can score. He is an exciting player that has thrived in other smaller market teams, why not here in Indiana?
3. Jamal Crawford, SG
Crawford may be a guy that people don't necessarily agree with me here, but here me out. Crawford is a guy who you bring off the bench as a 6th man. He can get pretty much any shot he wants. He is versatile in the sense that he could play SG or PG. He would certainly be a quality addition to an area the Pacers desperately need depth. Yes, he is 30 years old, but even now he is an integral part to an Atlanta Hawks team that sits in 5th place in the East. He's averaging just under 15 PPG this season and shooting right around 41%. FG% isn't great, but who would you rather see on the court in Blue and Gold, Jamal Crawford or Brandon Rush? If we were to sign him, I would bet Paul George starts next year.
4. Acie Law, PG
Law would not be a MAJOR signing by any means. He doesn't get a whole lot of playing time with Golden State, but I'm not convinced he's a total bust. He would be a cheap addition for the Pacers. In my opinion, he is a better option than A.J. Price. A.J. forces shots and turns the ball over a few too many times for my liking. Law is a little bit more controlled and is a better scorer (as has been proven by his college career at Texas A&M and in the NBA). I wouldn't think he would be brought on to score points, but more to run the offense with more efficiency and be a consistent defender. Stats are here: http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3219/acie-law
5. Tyson Chandler, C
I struggled with this one. We definitely need another big man to take some pressure off of Roy. Nene would be my first choice but I just can't see him not re-signing with Denver. There are a couple of other names out there like Dalembert, Eric Dampier, and Nazr Mohammed, but none of them are as good as Chandler. Although I'm not entirely convinced he'll leave Dallas, he'd be another solid pickup for the Pacers. He is a good defender with size and good rebounding ability. His best scoring days were when he was playing with Chris Paul in New Orleans who would literally just throw the ball up towards the rim to allow Chandler to go get it. Stats are pretty solid this year, averaging just over 10PPG, just under 10RPG in about 27 MPG (him and Brendan Haywood split time pretty evenly). He would definitely take some pressure off of Hibbert (and maybe even light a fire under his rear). Whether or not he would start over Roy is up for debate, but one thing for sure is he would definitely give us depth at C.
Let me know what you guys think. I just put these names together as a few guys the Pacers ought to take a look at this summer. Frankly, I think all of these guys would be a good addition to what we have now. Here is a link to use if you want to look up upcoming FAs: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-11-12
Thanks for reading and as always, Go Pacers