With the 2013 draft just a day away, a lot of trade rumors are swirling around the Pacers organization. Most of the talk has surrounded rumored trade talks between the Pacers and Kings with the blue and gold giving up their 23rd overall pick in this year's draft for Jimmer Fredette. The Pacers have a snag though in free agent bust Gerald Green's 3 year multimillion dollar deal. The Pacers want to include Green in any deal they see on the table, but it's highly doubtful their will be many (if any) takers for Green. Indy has been enamored with Fredette and has coveted him ever since he came out of college. Fredette has excellent ball handling skills as well as being a very good all around shooter. That said, there's no doubt he would add instant offense off the bench on a team fresh off a seven game ECF's series finals against the Heat. It's no secret that the Pacers bench was dismal last year and even worse in the postseason. Adding some much needed scoring to it is top priority if the team wants to get back to the Eastern conference finals and beyond. Coach Frank Vogel has been very adamant on the team getting to "the next level," and improving the bench. With that in mind, what are the Pacer's biggest position needs in order to accomplish that?
Indiana is one of the best team's in the league, and showed the world this past season how close they are to winning it all. In my opinion, they are one player away from accomplishing that feat. When it comes time for them to make a choice with the 23rd pick in the draft (barring any moves via trade), the Pacers need a guard with ball handling skills who can create his own shot. I know a lot of critics from most of the major networks have the Pacers taking a center to back up Hibbert, but if management is smart, they will draft (or trade up) for either a PG or SG. I would love to see the Pacers at least intertain the idea of going after Victor Oladipo because he would be perfect for this team. I know he will most likely be gone in the top 6, but the Pacers have enough pieces along with their draft pics to get a deal done. They can start by getting rid of Tyler Hansbrough either via sign and trade or not resigning him at all.
When the Pacers drafted Miles Plumlee last year in the 1st round, I considered Hansbrough's days as being numbered here. I say this because I have never been a fan of drafting a player you don't plan on using within the next two years. Plumlee rode the bench all of last year and wasn't even a blip on the radar screen for the team. If he is not used this year, drafting him is considered a wasted pick. Using a 1st round pick on a player like Plumlee should be for the sole purpose of improving a position the team considers lacking production. Otherwise why make the pick at all? If the Pacers were happy with Hansbroughs' production, why pick a player like Plumlee when they are essentially the same type of players with the exception that Miles is taller?
With releasing/trading Hansbrough the team can kill two birds with one stone. 1st, they get rid of a player who hasn't elevated his game since coming into the league. 2nd, they can give more minutes to a player they already have on the roster in Jeff Pendergraph who has not only shown he offers more as a player, but has also earned it. For a team that has drafted a forward for what seems an eternity as its 1st round picks, ignoring the backcourt is the absolute last thing this team needs to do this year. The Pacers need to guard who can handle the rock, and set up his team mates as well as score from any where on the court. That is the missing ingredient for a team that is looking to not only get back to the ECFs, but beyond.