On Tuesday, the Pacers introduced newly acquired talent Monta Ellis, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. Larry Bird also accidentally mentioned Rodney Stuckey a couple of times, even though the Pacers guard has yet to officially re-sign with the team. Tack on rookie contracts for top pick Myles Turner and second-rounder Joe Young along with another year for Shatyne Whittington and the Pacers have themselves a roster ready to begin the 2015-16 season.
The Pacers will likely add another point guard like Donald Sloan, but the players that will end up in the rotation are
in the fold. The new players met the media which Pacers.com captured quite well including a thorough report from Mark Montieth. Here are a few interesting nuggets gleaned from the proceedings at the Fieldhouse on Tuesday.
- Larry Bird discussed plenty of topinc and admitted being surprised by David West turning down his option which led to so many additional changes this summer.
- Both Monta Ellis and Jordan Hill love to fish. Won't be long until we have half the team on Geist Instagramming fish photos. Ellis is not going to be a media go-to-guy which is fine since there are still enough dynamic talkers in the Pacers locker room. The team needs more dynamic play than words, something they hope to get from Monta.
- Ellis downplayed his defensive reputation, or lack thereof, by saying there were really only about five players in the NBA who play defense and one was on his team. Quality deflection by Monta, plus that one can guard any player at any position regardless of where he's penciled in on the starting lineup.
- Chase Budinger remains a great value pick up, albeit for only one year, assuming his knee injuy issues are behind him. Budinger made it through the bulk of last season in good shape so this shapes up as a good bounce-back situation for the wing player. Budinger is a different type of player than Mike Dunleavy but when Dun left Indy it appeared his knee issues would keep his career on the decline, but he continued to improve his knee health and remains a key contributor for the Bulls. In Budinger's case, the knee issues kept him on the shelf while Minnesota acquired young talent at his position. He should be eager for to enjoy a new situation with the Pacers.
- Jordan Hill (already tired of having to type out Jordan to clarify which Hill I'm referencing) played at Arizona with Budinger, who thinks J. Hill will give the Pacers a big boost on the offensive glass.
- Bird offer effusive praise for the rookies and their showing in Orlando, saying that Myles Turner is even better than he thought when the team decided to draft him. Hopefully the 19-year old rook can hold up to the rising expectations heading into his first NBA season, but he has certainly put himself in position to carve out a role in the regular playing rotation.
- Bird also repeated his eagerness to see Paul George play power forward whether PG is down with the idea or not. Seems like a lot of folks don't get that the Pacers would utilize such a lineup for a matchup advantage, not to mention, the traditional definition of a power forward in the NBA (think Dale Davis and Charles Oakley) is whithering on the vine. May want to let things play out a bit before seizing on words in interviews. Actually found it more interesting that Bird referred to PG as "Danny" a couple of times.
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