Leandro Barbosa for Gratis? Pacers Keep Reaping the Rewards of Patient Approach

Said woman Larry take it slow

It'll work itself out fine

All we need is just a little patience...

And we'll come together fine

All we need is just a little patience

Patience, patience, patience

Ooh, oh, yeah

-Guns N' Roses, Patience

Yeah, so Larry Bird and Guns N' Roses don't have all that much in common. That might be the Captain Obvious statement of our lifetime. They do share an affinity for the concept of patience, though. For GNR it was a lyrical concept for womanizing. For Larry it's been a team-building concept that's unequivocally come in handy for the Blue and Gold, especially recently. Patience freed the franchise from years' worth of salary-cap purgatory. Patience allowed the uncoordinated and gawky (AKA #55) to develop into an all-star. Patience secured the franchise's most impressive free-agent signing since...well... since ever. And, most recently, patience granted Indy the opportunity to add another scoring sparkplug off the bench...basically for free. By the way, welcome to Indy, Mr. Barbosa, may the blur be with you.

Larry's become a patience savant, but he wasn't always that way. At least he didn't always appear to be. Some argue had he been more patient, he may have avoided the "Murphleavy" era altogether; which translated to more than a half decade of mediocrity (for the record, I'm not one of those people). Some argued he spent too much time and money on average players/free agents who only contributed to keeping the team semi-competitive. Some argued he was too willing dangle draft picks in trade discussions in order to keep the franchise afloat as a mid-30 win team.

Something changed along the way. Larry is still willing to dangle draft picks, but he's much more selective the process as evidenced by prying away a game changer like George Hill from the Spurs. After acquiring a seemingly redundant player like Barbosa, pre-patient Larry likely would have flipped Darren Collison for an average big man who would have "balanced" the rest of the roster. Presently patient Larry understands the power of waiting. While the Pacers do indeed have a glutton of guards with similar styles, what happens if Hill can't be re-signed? What happens if Barbosa is simply just a rental and walks after the season? What happens if someone suffers a serious injury? DC's presence on the team in light of any of those scenarios then becomes infinitely more relevant.The moral of the story is that seemingly "too much depth" has the potential to disappear as quickly as it arrived, and, if Indy is lucky enough to retain the depth, then waiting to deal Collison in the offseason may turn out to be a more favorable option when more teams might be looking to shake things up, thus providing Larry & Co. with more trade opportunities.

It's difficult to determine just how far the patient approach can take the Pacers. So far, it's taken them to the next step of being an above .500 team that beats those teams they're supposed to beat and loses to teams they're supposed to lose to. Will it eventually get them to championship level? I don't know, and I'll bet Larry doesn't know either. But I'll also wager that with the successful track record the approach has garnered so far that Larry likes its chances.

"With a little patience...everything will come together fine."

"Yeah, yeah"

"Just a little patience."

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