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Pacers Forced To Wait Before Getting To Work

Bruno's latest Caught in the Web rounds up some interesting information on the Pacers as the NBA heads into the free agency period of the offseason.

The biggest item in my mind is the ridiculous offseason schedule the NBA is using. I know this has been mentioned plenty of late, but it continues to drive me nuts. Obviously, the league relied solely on legal minds as opposed to basketball minds to come up with this plan. The biggest night of the offseason, the draft, is muted since trades among teams involving other players can't be discussed until July 9th. So the draft gins up excitement amongst the fans and then when the team wants to hype up the deals they've made and the new players coming to town, they can't.  Then there's this.

Maybe it isn't as extreme as all that but, for all intents and purposes, the franchise is basically in a holding pattern until the NBA transactions moratorium lifts, the proper approvals can be granted and the Pacers can move forward with their (reported) seven new players.

"The funny thing is," said team President Larry Bird, "they can’t even play in summer league."

They would be Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert, the two players (reportedly) acquired by the Pacers in their two (reported) draft-night trades. They might also include Josh McRoberts, a second-year player (reportedly) acquired in the Portland deal who no doubt would benefit from the summer-league experience.

Summer league isn't absolutely critical, but for a hoop head like myself, I'd love to see Rush and Hibbert have a chance to play some games this summer. Plus, any extra work is good work. I guess they'll have to do it on their own.

As for those who will play this summer, the rookie/free agent camp will include local notables in Early Calloway (IU), David Teague (Purdue) and Stanley Burrell (Xavier). I love Burrell's game and can see him being a combo guard version of Jarrett Jack. Burrell has that same bulldog mentality and I'd love to see his defensive mindset find a place on the roster. There just doesn't seem to be any room right now.

We also learn that there's only room for one Rush on the roster. As expected, the Pacers probably won't sign free agents David Harrison, Andre Owens, or Kareem Rush. Bringing in Brandon Rush all but certified that Kareem will be playing somewhere else next year.

Also, the Pacers don't expect to bring in any other free agents. Even though a couple of intriguing names in Carl Landry and James Jones are available, the Pacers roster is about full and they're more interested in getting their financial house in order. Plus, both guys will probably find better salaries than the Pacers would be willing to pay at this point.