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Rebuilding Is The Only Answer

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Bob Kravitz stated his case for the Pacers to dump salary and rebuild, if not now then in the upcoming offseason. I must say, I couldn't agree more with his thoughts on the subject. As much as I would like to believe that Jermaine O'Neal will become a healty, reliable number one option, I'm tired of the talk. He's been hampered with injuries over the past three years and always seems real close to being at full strength. Then he's pronounced healthy, begins playing, doesn't appear "right" and then we hear he's not quite 100%. Ugh.

But, moving J.O. and Tinsley won't magically make things better. The Pacers will need to slog through more pain, as they try to scoop out cap room and accrue picks or young talent. Whatever the pain, I'm ready and willing. I think fans will take to a young and developing team that offers something to root for. I look at recently ripped trades made by Minnesota and Memphis. Neither team set themselves up for the playoffs this year, but they certainly developed some instant flexibility with plenty of young talent to develop. In fact, Peter Vecsey also took up the topic of rebuilding and mentioned just how entertaining the young T-Wolves are this year. Yes, he believes the Pacers are in line to move J.O. and Tinsley.

Keep in mind, this isn't about tanking games the rest of the year, either. The top three spots in the lottery are fickle and depending on the health of the team, they may lose despite good effort. But, this team won't cash it in, and I can see a best case scenario of finishing the remaining 32 games at a .500 clip which would give them 37 wins. More likely, they'll maintain the pace they've set thus far and finish with 30-33 wins. They'll have their shot at the lottery and also a shot at a talented player in the draft. Regardless, unless the Pacers tap into some luck, the 2008 draft is merely a step in the rebuilding journey and bigger strides will need to be taken by the Pacers' front office to drastically change the direction of the team.