Mike Wells pedaled a little hope today for a Pacers renaissance without pinning those hopes on a magic ping pong ball saving the franchise Tuesday night. Sticking with odds and assuming the Pacers remain slotted with the 11th pick, Wells compared the current situation to that of Atlanta, Utah, and New Orleans three years ago. All three were out of the playoffs and in need of a new direction. This year all three made the playoffs and are filled with young, promising talent. One difference is the picks in that 2005 draft that helped turn around the Jazz and Hornets were picks 3 and 4 which brought in Deron Williams and Chris Paul, respectively. At pick 11, a cornerstone pick is not available for the Pacers.
I do agree with the general thought, though, that this one pick is only part of the process and these teams made other key moves to put themselves in the favorable position they are in today. Plus, don't forget, the Jazz missed the playoffs for three years before ascending the ranks of the Western Conference elite, again, so patience is also part of the process. We'll need that patience since the lack of cap room should make any impact trades and free agent signings about as challenging as hitting the jackpot in the draft lottery.