The Pacers' 2013 Offseason - A Brief Guide


[From the FanPosts, SethGrandpa offers up a great, one-stop overview with all of the offseason info you need to consider.]

The Pacers don’t have a lot of options when it comes to improving the club for next year, but there are a few interesting possibilities. Nailing this year’s first round draft pick and properly allocating free agent money using the mid-level exception will be key to contending for a title in 2013-14. The following is an offseason breakdown with a touch of analysis.



Bench depth: When playing together Pacers starting five was among the league’s best (if not the best). When they had to go to the bench, things had the potential to get ugly. Ian Mahinmi is serviceable, Orlando Johnson has potential, and a healthy Danny Granger could add a big boost, but overall, the team’s bench needs major retooling. The biggest whole is at backup PG, where Augustin simply failed to run the offense effectively, but literally every spot 1-5 could use a depth upgrade.


--Salary Cap—

Committed Salary (according to Hoops World salary numbers): $48,998,027

Projected 2013-14 Salary Cap: $58,500,000

Potential Cap Space: $9,501,973

What This Means: If the Pacers resign David West, they’ll basically only be able to offer free agents the mid-level exception or minimum salary.


--Internal Moves—

Unrestricted free agents: David West, D.J. Augustin, Sam Young

Restricted free agents: Tyler Hansbrough, Ben Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph

Breakdown: Obviously the #1 priority is resigning West, and both sides seem to be on the same page. Talk then shifts to whether the Pacers other free agents.

D.J. Augustin should swiftly be shown the door because he’s not any good and the team has no cap flexibility. Sam Young and Ben Hansbrough could only be brought back for the minimum, though there honestly are probably better options even only using the minimum salary.

Both Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph qualify for Bird Rights, meaning the Pacers can resign them even after exceeding the cap. While Hansbrough is a flawed player, the Pacers free agent limitations make him a player worth resigning if another club can’t offer him a better deal than the one-year $4.135 million qualifying offer. Similarly Pendergraph could be offered a one-year qualifying offer for $1.875 million, which would probably be worth it.


--Tradable Assets—

Danny Granger: The idea of trading Danny Granger has been a hot topic for years and years. The idea will be floated once again this offseason, but there hasn’t been a worse time to trade Granger in years for the following reasons:

1) He’s coming off a season-long injury which severely hurts his stock. A team trading for him is rolling the dice that he can come back healthy.

2) His bloated contract is only on the books for one more season.

3) NBA Trade rules state that you have to have nearly equal contract money exchanging hands in a trade unless a team is under the cap. Most teams aren’t under the cap, so a Granger straight up for a draft pick deal is hard to fathom. More than likely the Pacers would have to take on someone else’s bad contract, which could potential tie up money the team needs when trying to resign Paul George and Lance Stephenson down the line.

3) His stock can only go up from here and he’ll have more trade value in-season. Even if Granger reinjures himself, he’s an expiring contract. That’s more valuable in-season when teams start positioning themselves financially for future seasons/are trying to tank. And if Granger comes back healthy and plays great, that’s obviously a boost to his trade value.

4) If he comes back healthy, he’ll instantly be the team’s best bench player by a mile (or would make Stephenson the Pacers best bench player by a mile). That’s much needed.

Draft Picks: No explanation needed.


--Draft Targets—

The following are some interesting guys that could fit the Pacers system. Obviously I'm not including everyone the Pacers could take (I mean who saw Miles Plumlee coming last year?), but this covers most of the best options.

First Round Options That Would Need to Fall

Shane Larkin, PG, Miami – At 5’11", Larkin lacks ideal PG size, but can be a force on the offensive end. He’s athletic, can shoot, and distribute. His D may be spotty at time, but he has the physical tools to improve. Right now, it looks like he may be a tier above the Pacers drafting range.

Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga – The Canadian import went from redshirting his junior season to rounding into one of the best players in college basketball in 2012-13. He’s got the offensive tools to post up and step outside for jumpers (with range that extended to the college 3-point line). He doesn’t have elite athleticism, but he’s quick for his size, runs the floor well, and gets a surprising number of help side blocks.

Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany – A speed demon PG who can shoot and defend. His decision making and feel for the game is still a bit raw and there are questions about his range.

First Round Options That Are Projected In Range

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan – The overlooked component of Michigan’s title game run, Hardaway has the balanced game that would make him a safe pick. While not an elite gunner, he provides the perimeter shooting inherent in his position’s name and possesses SG size. There are questions about his ability to get his own shot due in part to non-elite quickness and strength.

Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas – It’s concerning that after deciding to return to North Texas for his sophomore season, the super athletic North Texas PF saw a dramatic drop in his numbers. For a guy that was already more of a project than a finished product, that’s super concerning. The Pacers probably don’t have time to let him figure it out.

Gorgui Deing, C, Louisville – A defensive force at the center position. But with the Pacers having a capable backup center on the roster, it doesn’t seem like taking a defense-first center would be the best use of the pick.

Nate Wolters, PG, South Dakota State – An elite shooter with good size (6’5") and a feel for running the offense. There are concerns about his ability to translate his game from the Summit League to the NBA and subpar athletic skills make defense a concern on the next level.

Sergey Karasey, SG/SF, Russia – A dead-eye shooter who has the court feel to create shots for others. His athleticism and defense are question marks.

Jeff Withy, C, Kansas – See: Gorgui Deing.

Glen Rice Jr., SG, D-League – Went from DNPs in the D-League to a D-League force in just a few months of play. Got kicked off his college team (Georgia Tech). The Gerald Green factor of a guy putting up big, but potentially empty numbers has me a little concerned.

Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State – The Racer’s PG can shoot and score, but there are potential problems with his size (6’0") and lack of true PG skills (he’s doesn’t have great court vision and has a poor assist to turnover rate for the position).

Second Round Options

Ray McCallum, PG, Detroit – One of those prospects that has no major flaws, but also no major strengths. He’s at his best in the open floor.

Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas – Oh how this Canadian’s stock has plummeted. Entering Texas he was projected to be a top 10 pick after his freshman year. He never put together anything resembling lottery pick talent in two tumultuous seasons with the Longhorns, but he still has elite speed and occasionally flashed a special playmaking skill.

Ryan Kelly, PF, Duke – The Blue Devil can flat out shoot for his size (6’11"). He’s not quite the gunner that Steve Novak is, and will need to bulk up to stick in the NBA, but he could morph into a bench specialist.

Brandon Paul, SG, Illinois – A SG who can create his own shot (and shoots it decently) and defend. Sometimes seems to lack focus and will slip into playing undisciplined basketball.

Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville – The heart of the reigning national champions, Siva doesn’t have NBA size or shooting, but he’s probably the best penetrating PG in this year’s draft.

Brandon Davies, PF/C, BYU – Also known as "The Honor Code." His suspension may have submarined BYU’s Jimmermania season, but the big man has a sleekness to his game on both ends of the floor.

Elias Harris, SF/PF, Gonzaga – A potential lottery pick after his freshman season, Elias Harris finished four years at Gonzaga as a different player. His once explosive athleticism has tailed off, but he morphed into a crafty offensive player who can attack inside and out. May be too much of a tweener to make it to the NBA.

Analysis: There should be decent options on the boards for both of the Pacers picks. It’d be huge if they could land a decent backup PG in this year’s draft. If I had to rank my personal choices for each round, it’d look something like this: 1st Fallers – Schroeder, Olynyk , Larkin; 1st In Range - Wolters, Karasey, Hardaway Jr.; 2nd – Siva, McCallum, Kelly, Davies, Harris, Kabongo (though obviously, the team shouldn’t take two players at the same position).


--Free Agency Targets—

Again, the Pacers basically can bring in players with the MLE and will have to settle for minimum guys (most likely old vets chasing a ring) to round out the squad. The $5 million of the MLE can be split among players. Again, there are obviously some guys probably I missed here, but these are among the best options.

Full MLE Options

JJ Redick – The former Blue Devil has turned himself into a great NBA role player who can shoot from deep and defend surprisingly well. He’d have to take a pay cut to come play for a good team.

Tyreke EvansA guy in desperate need for a change of scenery who could be a beast off the bench if he accepts that role. Has the tools to be a lock down defender and explosive scoring threat off the bench, but there are fears about his decision making and if the culture of losing in Sacramento forever poisoned his potential.

Kyle Korver – Would provide the Pacers a much needed consistent outside shooting specialist. His salary last year was $5 million, but if he could be talked into taking less for a shot at the title, he potentially could drop into the next group, which could be huge. That’s not an outlandish proposition for a vet like him.

Jarrett JackThe former Pacer would provide much needed PG relief to George Hill, but he likely played himself well above the MLE salary threshold.

Split MLE Options

Matt BarnesOne of the league’s better pest defenders, Barnes isn’t a one-dimensional player. He has developed a decent shot, which makes him an ideal bench player.

Tony AllenThe Pacers are a defense-first team who already have one of the league’s top 3 perimeter defenders. Why not get two of the top three (sorry, LeBron’s not available)? Allen could be a potentially devastating tool off the bench who could come in and make life difficult for Pacers adversaries like Rose, Wade, and Irving.

Marco BelinelliIt doesn’t totally make sense why Belinelli’s quirky internationally-flavored offensive game works, but it does.

Nate Robinson – The King of Irrational Confidence can’t play a lick of D, but when he’s nearly unstoppable on offense when he gets rolling. While he’s often been an unwanted scrap heap free agent, he may have actually played himself into full MLE territory these playoffs.

Jose CalderonThe Spaniard still has the skills to beautifully run an offense, but his D is non-existent. A MLE split would be a huge pay cut, and he might opt to play overseas instead.

Chase BudingerShowed flashes of being a nifty offensive player off the bench before injuries derailed his first season with the T’Wolves.

Elton Brand The former All-Star has made his money. If he’s willing to chase a ring over money, he could be an option.

DeJuan BlairRebounder with Spurs pedigree. Also, no knees.

Eric MaynorOft-injured PG, who always showed potential to be a decent backup when active.

Greg Oden – I’m just gonna let this one hang out there…

Minimum Option

Jermaine O’Neal – This makes too much sense.

Breakdown: While my first impulse was to say the Pacers should go after Redick, it would look to be wiser to split it among 2 or 3 players.

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