FanPost

Serge Ibaka Deal

Here it is...

Given the money that Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Perkins are getting, the new tougher salary tax, and the OKC market, it seems rather unlikely they'll be able to retain James Harden. They *could* if the ownership group is willing to pay some big money, by my amateurish calculations something like $79 million in the 2013 off-season (with the cap holds and non-guaranteed contracts). If they renounce rights (not including Harden), turn down team options, and release guys they could save something like $11.5 million, still they'd be over the cap by around $9 million. Basically, I'm saying it would be difficult to hang on to Harden because he's probably going to be offered max money by someone, which is going to be around $14 million a year most likely.

For this example, I'll use the current max, Harden will add $6 million to the Thunder's salaries, placing them at $73 million. That's approximately $15 million over the current cap. I'm not gonna do the exact math, because it's confusing, but I can surmise they'll be paying north of $21 million since I believe they would fall under the repeater section. That's roughly $94 million that the team would have to pay, that's before they even fill out the roster, and I have to imagine the Thunder will be unwilling.

Thus, we arrive at the long awaited point of this damned post. I suggest the Indiana Pacers sign him in the off-season. Cue the, 'But we don't have the cap space to offer him max money.' Indeed that is quite true, but we have options in regards to such a situation. Trading Granger for an expiring contract, a player, and draft pick(?) would be my suggestion. That combined with West's departure and the renouncing of rights on Pendergraph/Hansbrough should open up the necessary room to sign Harden. This would allow the team to move Paul George to his natural position, this should make a number of you happy, and the Pacers would have a legit 2-guard for the first time since Reggie Miller retired.

The lineup would go as follows:

Point: George Hill

Shooting: James Harden

Small: Paul George

Power: Miles Plumlee

Center: Roy Hibbert

Bench: Gerald Green, Ian Mahinmi, Orlando Johnson, Lance Stephenson, 2013 first rounder(Isaiah Austin PF-C), 2013 second rounder, Player from Granger trade, 3 bench warmers.

>Bold is rotation

This would obviously be a huge risk to take since there would be no guarantee the team could get Harden, but I think it could be worth the chance.

:Update:

How about the team trades Granger to the Cavs for Tyler Zeller and a 2013 unprotected #1. The Cavs get a stellar offensive wing to pair with their young core, while taking a great deal of the load off of Kyrie Irving's shoulders. The Pacers get a solid starting/bench option in Tyler Zeller and that 1st rounder could turn out something special.

Point: George Hill

Shooting: James Harden

Small: Paul George

Power: Tyler Zeller

Center: Roy Hibbert

Bench: Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, Lance Stephenson, Orlando Johnson, Ian Mahinmi, Pacers 1st round, Pacers 2nd Round, Cavs 1st round, 2 bench warmers.

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