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Roster Turnover Could Leave Armstrong Out

After looking over the changes to the Pacers' roster from the last game of the season, as of today, we have a good idea who is gone for good. Since the Pacers have signed four new players we have to assume four players from the final loss of the season will not return to the Fieldhouse.

Maceo Baston's departure is in stone since the Pacers didn't match the offer he signed with Toronto. Rawle Marshall and Keith McCleod weren't asked back so they are free to leave. So that leaves one more, and with the signing of Travis Diener it appears Darrell Armstrong will be left on the outside looking in since his deal is not guaranteed. Here's a nice look at Diener's arrival and D.A.'s possible departure.

As tough as it is, this is the best long term move for the Pacers. D.A. gave the Pacers more than anyone thought possible last year. He played a huge part in many wins over the first four months of the season, in fact, his production mirrored the production of the whole team. The losses started mounting up about the time D.A. ran out of gas. He's an awesome addition to any team, regardless of playing time, but the Pacers are more than veteran leadership away from being real good. They need players, and Diener should give the Pacers more consistent shooting and the same level of hustle. Nothing is official and the door is not closed, but D.A. appears to see the writing on the wall.

"I'll be somewhere this season. I'm not old. I've got young legs still," Armstrong said last week from his home in Atlanta. "I just don't know what they [Pacers] want to do. Right now, we sit back and wait."

Armstrong thinks the Pacers still are contemplating a trade of star center Jermaine O'Neal, which would touch off a complete rebuilding of the roster. He also is looking around the league, still thinking someone could use a veteran backup who still can change a game with his high-energy style.
D.A. mentioned the pending J.O. trade in a local interview last week, also. Interesting that he keeps throwing that little tease out there. Of course, if that happens, we'll be doing another roster analysis real soon.

On the other hand, Diener should be pumped about the opportunity he has in front of him, and it appears he is indeed pumped.
"They told me I'd get a chance to play," Diener said last week from his home in Wisconsin. "That's all I needed to hear. My main concern this summer, more than anything else, was finding a place where I could get a chance."
That's what I like to hear, a player hungry for an opportunity to prove he can make it in the NBA. The Pacers just might get lucky if Diener's talent is good enough to allow him to seize the opportunity.