Looks like the Pacers may have finished their dealings for the offseason.
Jamal Crawford has signed with the Portland Trailblazers for 2 years and $10 million, including a player option in the second year. That’s unfortunate because Larry Bird offered Crawford the same (or very similar terms) for him to come to Indiana, but he balked at the idea. Looks like Crawford may have overestimated his own value in the league. Maybe he thinks the Blazers have more potential or will give him more playing time. Or maybe he just doesn’t like Indiana. Doesn’t matter.
The other guy the Pacers were looking at, David West’s teammate Carl Landry, has re-signed with the Hornets for one year at $9 million. Considering West cost $10 million, that price would have been more than the Pacers were willing to part with.
Lastly, Yahoo! Sports reports that Andrei Kirilenko, curently under contract in Moscow, is very close to signing with the New Jersey Nets. I haven’t heard much about him having serious talks with the Pacers, so it might very well be that the Pacers are done dealing and will start focusing on the upcoming season (David West won’t play in the preseason game against the Bulls, by the way).
If so, the Pacers stil had a fantastic offseason, one that gives fans plenty of confidence entering the shortened 2011-2012 season. First of all, the players kept in contact and conducted their own practices during the lockout so that everyone remained in relatively good shape. Secondly, the young players continued to work hard and grow (some literally — apparently Paul George grew two inches and is now a 6’10″ shooting guard!!!!!!).
Thirdly, the Pacers shred players they didn’t really need/did not re-sign them (and is it just me or did all these players struggle on the defensive end?) — TJ Ford, Mike Dunleavy, James Posey and Josh McRoberts (I would have liked to have seen McBob back, personally).
Fourthly, they either brought in or brought back players they needed without breaking the bank — big signings David West (at good value and low risk) and George Hill (for the 10th pick in a weak draft), Jeff Foster (who deserves to finish as a Pacer) and Jeff Pendergraph (high potential and low risk).
Sure, it would have been great had they traded Rush (and McBob) for Mayo or if they had landed Crawford, or if they found takers for Rush or Dahntay Jones…but it’s been good enough.
The current roster looks like this:
PG: Darren Collison / George Hill / AJ Price / Lance Stephenson
SG: Paul George / George Hill / AJ Price / Lance Stephenson / Dahntay Jones / Brandon Rush
SF: Danny Granger / Paul George / Dahntay Jones / Brandon Rush
PF: David West / Tyler Hansbrough/ Danny Granger / Jeff Pendergraph / Jeff Foster
C: Roy Hibbert / Jeff Foster
Yep, looks pretty good. Hansbrough and Pendergraph could probably play some five, but it would be good if the Pacers could land another big guy. That could be Jarrid Famous or Matt Rogers, both of whom are 6’11″ rookies in camp with the Pacers at the moment.