Finally, finally, the Indiana Pacers have done something this offseason. In a four-team, five-player trade, the Pacers sent Mr. Double-Double Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets in return for Darren Collison and James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets.
Trevor Ariza went from the Rockets to the Hornets and Courteney Lee went from the Nets to the Rockets. The Hornets also sent Julian Wright to the Raptors for Marco Belinelli.
After months of saying it couldn’t be done, Larry Bird has finally done it. The Indiana Pacers have their point guard of the future. Collison, judging from his rookie year, is the real deal. He probably could have given Tyreke Evans a run for ROY honors had he not been stuck behind Chris Paul for a large chunk of the year.
In just 27.8 minutes per game last season, Collison averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds. But the numbers are somewhat misleading because when Paul was playing, Collison rarely got more than a few minutes a game. When Paul went down with an injury, Collison really stepped up, averaging more than 21 points and 8 assists in the month of January.
Posey, who helped the Celtics to their title in 2008, is still a solid defensive presence who can hit big shots when called upon. The problem is, Posey also plays small forward, and the Pacers have a logjam at that position.
As for Troy Murphy, well…he will be missed. He was the team’s second best player, a guy who gets a double-double almost every night and can stretch the defense with his 3-point shooting. But his contract was expiring at the end of the year anyway, and the opportunity to score Collison was too good to pass up.
In the short run, the loss of Murphy will hurt the Pacers, but at least they now have a point guard that can potentially lead the team somewhere. Hopefully the playoffs.