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IC Cold Links: Collison Ready To Go But Must Adjust To New Role

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With all of the moving parts involved in Wednesday's trade, there's been no shortage of thoughtful analysis. The overwhelming majority of those thoughts have nothing but praise for the Pacers for landing a coveted point guard who fits in well with the current roster.

One cogent note of caution came from one of my favs, Tom Ziller over at The Fanhouse. His point is that Collison exceeded expectations in his rookie year playing primarily in a backup role. Let him deliver similar production in a starting role, which includes additional scrutiny, before adding his name to the group of point guards in the upper echelon of the league.

What Collison has to guard against -- if he can even do anything at all -- is the power of hype. The Pacers aren't exactly the most fertile soil, even if there's a place for his talents. But given the circumstances of his departure, and his challenge to New Orleans' hierarchy, he'll be met with rose parades and Most Improved Player predictions. His NBA career has been a dream so far, but his old mentor Paul knows better than most just how quickly the roses can turn to tomatoes, how fast the escalator of hype becomes the elevator of unmet expectations.

It's almost as if the NBA isn't real until you're a starter. As a backup to a great player, Collison had the easiest job in the league. Now it gets difficult.

I couldn't agree more with those sentiments but they also fortify the argument that this deal was a no-brainer for the Pacers. The twinge of doubt I had about spending money on Jordan Farmar was taking the risk of overpaying a backup looking for starter's minutes. Still, I was willing to take the risk with Farmar because desperate times call for desperate measures.

But two things are different with Collison. For one, he played pretty well in a starter's role during his rookie season. But more importantly, if the worst case scenario plays out and he can't live up to the hype by solidifying the Pacers' point guard position, his rookie salary (Collison will make about a third of what Farmar does this year) is easy to eat knowing he'll be a great backup at worst.

After the jump, a few links of interest including quotes from Collison and Jim O'Brien, more trade analysis and Danny Granger returning to action with Team USA at Radio City Music Hall.