Hey Pacer fans! I'm the new guy around here. I was born and raised in Indy and am currently a student at IUPUI. I cannot wait to be a part of this coverage team. If you can put up with my energy level and occasional bad jokes, I think we are going to have a lot of fun this season. I want to hear what you guys think! Feel free to comment below and I will answer each of you.
As published earlier, the Indiana Pacers have signed Guard Monta Ellis to a four year/$44 million deal today. Ellis is coming off a 2014-2015 campaign in which he averaged 18.9 points per game as well as 4.1 assists. Ellis is only 29 (turning 30 this October) despite being a ten year NBA veteran.
My immediate reaction to this pickup is...excitement. Ellis is a proven scorer (19.3 career average). He proved this last postseason that he is no stranger to playoff atmosphere basketball. Despite the Dallas Mavericks losing, Ellis averaged 26 points in five contests. An improving George Hill with an experienced Ellis could prove to be just what the Pacers were looking for in their backcourt attack. Ellis is a catalyst type player: very consistent and definitely brings a presence to the court. With Ellis in Pacers Blue and Gold, this gives Paul George more protection on the offensive side of the ball. Ellis is a pure enough shooter that defenders will have to keep him honest. With Hill at the one, this will give him more options than he's worked with over the past few seasons and allow him to push the tempo.
The focus now shifts to the front court and what on Earth to do there. George will take the three and become the center of the team's attack once again. The Pacers first round pick as Myles Turner leaves more question marks to Roy Hibbert. Hibbert recently opted into his contract for this upcoming season for $15.5 million. Don't even get me started. No one wants to hear me rant on my first article. Many of you haven't even decided if you like me yet. With Ellis, the Pacers have once again established that they want to play a more up tempo style of offense. That style of play never has nor will fit Roy Hibbert's style. Turner fits the mold more based on his time at Texas. Moving forward, the Pacers also need to address the hole left by David West's position. With West on his way out, the next in line to play the four according to depth charts would be Luis Scola.
Overall, I love the attitude the Pacers have to start off this free agency period. Signing Ellis is a huge step in the right direction for building a team that fits around George and his style. Now the question is...what is your immediate reaction to the signing of Monta Ellis? Also, what should the Pacers next move be? Keep calm and happy free agency!