Instead of a monumental leap forward, the Indiana Pacers used the NBA draft as another step in the process to transforming their roster to be more athletic, more competitive and well, just better.
I had personal hopes that memorable trade would occur to address the Pacers' point guard situation while still adding some young talent to the mix. So by only adding young talent the night remains disappointing, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good night for the Pacers, if for nothing else, that step in the process moved in a different direction.
By selecting Paul George and Lance Stephenson the Pacers now have more wings than BW3's. Not only does that put a few current players it also allows the Pacers more flexibility in pursuing trades after July 8th since they can throw in a wing player or two and not fill one hole while creating another one.
The other subtle shift was the willingness to take a risk on talent instead of adding another safe, experienced college player. George recently turned 20 and has plenty of room to develop an all-around game to go with the offensive skill he already shows. Stephenson comes with on and off the court baggage, but the Pacers were comfortable enough with their background checks on the player and those around him that they are willing to give his talent a shot. Stephenson won't turn 20 until September.
So instead of relief or exasperation after a volatile trade-filled night that would cement the offseason plans for the team, the draft was just the beginning of what should still be an interesting offseason for the Pacers. Next up is summer league which will give us a good look at the rookies. Any free agent point guard prospects left out of the draft should be banging down the Pacers' door, as well, so it will be interesting to see which players are added to the summer league roster.
After the jump, tons of draft links. I'm off to Seattle for a week so my posting will be limited, but goodlucksaturday and Levy will keep things running as I expect, will the great FanPosters who have kept things lively around here.
PACERS: Pacers believe George can contribute right away
Caught in the Web: Despite all the trade rumors heading into the draft, the Pacers made it clear they drafted Fresno State's Paul George to keep him.
Pacers' point guard search fails, so they pick George
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers' draft night.
Pacers add to their firepower by choosing Fresno State player
Mike Wells reports on the addition of George.
Larry Bird says Pacers, Hayward got what was best from the draft - IndySports
Larry Hawley reports on the Pacers' draft night.
NBA draft 2010: Winners & losers - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Marc J. Spears wraps up some draft thoughts and considers Paul George one of the winners of the night. Also mentions the Pacers were ready to buy their way up to select Lance Stephenson but he fell to them in the end.
Lance Stephenson is picked by the Indiana Pacers - ESPN New York
Lance Stephenson believes going to the Pacers will make him a winner.
Pacers draft Paul George in 2010 Draft
Tim Donahue assess the Pacers' draft night at 8.9.
AP: Pacers acquire Rolle in 2nd round
Cliff Brunt has the details on Magnum Rolle joining the Pacers.
Butler's Gordon Hayward makes a major move in NBA draft
David Woods reports on Butler's Hayward cashing in on his decision to jump to the NBA.
Jazz select Butler’s Hayward | The Salt Lake Tribune
Michael C. Lewis reports on the SLC reaction to Gordon Hayward's addition to the Jazz.