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.
Collison plans to follow in Miller's footsteps
Mike Wells reports that Darren Collison and Jim O'Brien are pumped and ready to head in a new direction...quickly.
NBA.com: U.S. Team puts in work for Radio City Music Hall crowd
John Schuhmann reports on the USA Basketball scrimmage last night with this to say about Granger. "Danny Granger, who suffered a dislocated finger on Tuesday and missed Wednesday's practice, received some good news when his MRI came back negative. He started for the white team Thursday and scored six points on 3-for-9 shooting, with his injured right ring finger taped to his middle finger for support."
VIDEO: Team USA Basketball Scrimmage Ends With Sudden-Death Overtime
Yep, the Team USA scrimmage ended with a one-bucket, sudden-death overtime.
PACERS: Bird returns to Hall of Fame with Dream Team
Larry Bird will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame again, this time as a representative of the 1992 Dream Team, and the Pacers President reflects on that experience in this exclusive Q&A.
Basketball Prospectus: Transaction Analysis: Seven players, five teams, two trades
Bradford Doolittle analyzes the trade activity that erupted on Wednesday.
Looking Deeper At The Collison Acquisition
Andrew Perna analyzes the Pacers' deal to land Collison.
Ante Up: The Indiana Pacers are going to the playoffs
Austin Burton at Dime.com is ready to raise the stakes on the Pacers next season.
Nike spares LeCon humiliation in NY - NYPOST.com
Marc Berman reports on Nike keeping the boos from showering down on LeBron James at Radio City Music Hall last night.
WNBA: Katie Douglas signs contract extention with Fever
You gotta be Fever Believer these days and it is nice to see local legend Katie Douglas reap the benefits of the team's success.