March 19, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin (14) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. The 76ers won 105-80. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers were heavily involved in chasing Bobcats point guard D.J. Augustin following their trade last night with the Mavericks that shipped Darren Collison to the Mavericks. Talks continued to heat up as the day progressed, and Mike Wells reports that the Pacers have come to terms with Augustin on a one year deal, one Adrian Wojnarowski notes is for $3.5 million.
Many questions were raised regarding Indiana's decision to trade their former starter, now backup, for less than desirable assets in Ian Mahinmi, but the acquisition of Augustin, one Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard wasted no time pursuing, helps to level the trade out. The good news for the Pacers is that they'll be able to use Augustin without locking him up long term in the event he doesn't work out. However, Augustin may still provide a better fit for the Pacers than Collison did. Getting improved passing and a comparable level of scoring on a "test drive" contract gives the Pacers plenty of advantages moving forward.
While the move to acquire Augustin alone doesn't necessarily make the Pacers a better team from where they were 24 hours ago, the acquisition of Mahinmi and Gerald Green help shuffle the deck on the Pacers bench, one that needed some upgrading after a lackluster performance in the postseason. The lack of a long term deal puts the Pacers in the same position they'd be in with Darren Collison had they wavered on their decision to resign him.
The whole of the moves starting last night with the trade to Dallas doesn't give the Pacers more talent necessarily, but it really is a shuffling of the deck enough that it keeps the talent level about the same at the very least without settling on what obviously wasn't working against Miami and was very unlikely to ever work against Miami. While the road to get here was rather odd, the Pacers bench is almost certainly better today than it was before all of these moves began to shake out. Now, it comes down to the new players (in addition to those returning) playing to their abilities when the stakes are the highest next postseason.