The Playoffs are coming and I hope all that can, will show up when the time comes.
That being said, the gambler in me has us not winning a championship this year. So how do we get there? Myself and others have speculated on potential Big name FA pickups like ZBO and West. I think Nathan said something like small ball earlier when it comes to Free Agency and I think he is right. Also, now that I have thought more about it and seen the progression of our team, I think we have a great young core to build on. To win a championship though, we will need to draft great the next couple years and sign expiring contracts wisely and frugaly.
When it comes to this draft many have said its not a deep talent draft. To an extent they are right, but I think it's more that there is not a clear cut number one that gives it that stigma. It might not have headline grabbing names, but I believe it's deeper in project players with high potential and theres not as much difference from 18th to 30th. in my opinion.
Nbadraft.net has us projected picking 15th and 45th, selecting Terrence Jones, a 6-8 244 SF Freshman from Kentucky and LaceDarrius Dunn a 6-4 200 SR SG from Baylor. They also have Tristan Thompson PF Texas going 16th to New York Knickerbockers. If we got two out of three of those at our spot I think that is a great draft. I really like T. Jones and think he could be the steal of the draft, though I also really like Kenneth Faried. If Faried's draft stock didn't rise so much I would say trade down with the Bulls for their two picks and draft Jajuan Johnson and Faried. If we don't have a wow pick at 15 though or if the best players available are at positions we don't need, then we might consider some kind of trade down and yes Granger fans we should be shopping him and our pick for potential trade with Cleveland or someone like. I think Cleveland would do it to mix another veteran with Baron, who I beleive they have for a couple more years, and I think Gilbert really wants to win before Lebron. LOL
As far as our cap space and free agents, like I said before I like the "small ball" idea. I think we try to resign Jmac and Fiesty for equally beneficial contracts within reason. Possibly 1 to 2 mil. a year per for as long as we can lock Jmac up cheap for and for as long as we think Foster will last. I think we can resign them, but I am sure you might say we would still be thin up front. You 'd be right, but even if we sign ZBO and he plays lights out, we would still probably not win a title next year. Instead we should continue to gel and continue to get better, get another year under our belts in the playoffs, and draft a big man the following year.
I say we don't spend anymore money on FA and just bank the money. I say this for a couple reasons. One, we should have enough money to absorb a big time player with a bigtime contract if the opportunitty arises. Even if its a one year rental of Dwight Howard, without giving up anything really, with the potential to woo him or said upcoming Free Agent. Next, it would stabilize the team, build continuity while helping the Pacers pay back the city and be able to spend when the need comes to truly contend. Also, obviously we wanna be able to resign our talent when their contracts are due.
If we stick with our guns and don't jump to soon, which we have fortunately not done. Then, we should be able to build a truly deep and talented team that could contend for years and keep reloading as talent ages. As long as we continue drafting well and don't have anymore Austin Croshere contracts. (Overpaying a mediocre player that another team really wants like the Lakers) Also, none of this means dick if we don't get a great coach (Adelman) to LEAD us. Though I really like Frank Vogel and hope he surprises me. So I hope we upset the Bulls or whoever in the first round, but even if we don't, it's been a fun year.
What I would like to see as next year's Lineup:
Tyler Hansbrough Josh Mcroberts, MATT HOWARD