If you thought the Pacers were finished weaponizing the 2016-2017 roster, think again.
In a recent interview with Nate Taylor of the IndyStar, Kevin Pritchard commented on the front office's plan to dive into free agency with an eye toward more versatility and spacing:
"What Larry and what we want is to be able to put a team out there that has multiple playmakers," Pritchard said, emphasizing the importance of versatility at all positions. "That's what's being successful (in the NBA). Doesn't matter if you're a 7-footer or 5-5, it's putting guys out there that can make plays because of switching defenses and the way they're zoning up on the weak side. You've got to have guys who can make plays or else they take you out of your offense really quick."
Free agents such as Nicolas Batum, Harrison Barnes, Chandler Parsons, Ryan Anderson and Marvin Williams could be in the Pacers' sights.
"Teams that are successful right now put four guys, and sometimes five guys, that can make plays," Pritchard said. "The way we watched the Finals and teams that are going deep into the playoffs, that spread four has been something we've really longed for. That was really important to us."
While Batum, Parsons, and Barnes may prove too expensive for the Pacers' shrinking cap space, Williams and Anderson may provide more realistic (affordable) options to upgrade the Pacers' spacing needs.
It's hard to be critical of the Pacers' offseason approach thus far, as they seem keenly intent on transforming themselves into the Pace-and-Space team Larry Bird envisioned after retiring the Smashmouth brand last summer.
Of course, it takes two to tango, so the front-office brass will have to put on their best salesmen hats to convince some of these guys to jump aboard. But one thing is increasingly clear as the offseason progresses: Larry & Co. aren't fooling around.