Okay. So now the Darren Collison/Dahntay Jones trade for Ian Mahinmi is starting to make a little more sense, at least from a personnel-shifting perspective. Whether it will translate to a better team remains to be seen.
The Pacers have signed swingman Gerald Green (who last played for the Nets) and point guard DJ Augustin (who last played for the Bobcats). They must have secured these deals before announcing the Mahinmi trade. Green is signed for 3 years for what is believed to be around $10 million, while Augustin signed for just one year at $3.5 million.
So what have the Pacers gotten out of these moves so far?
Well, they got a backup center/PF in Mahinmi who should be more serviceable than Tyler Hansbrough, Lou Amundson and Miles Plumlee. Mahinmi is never going to be a star, but defensively he will be more solid than the triple decker white sandwich. Offensively, it’s hard to be worse than those guys as well.
They got Green, a former dunk champion who has been passed around the league a little bit. The guy can dunk, that’s for sure (see video), and will probably fill the role formerly played by Josh McRoberts (not in terms of skill set but highlight plays). Is he better offensively than Dahntay Jones? Probably. At least more dynamic. The Pacers say they have been following Green’s improvement over the last year, though you might want to take a grain of salt with that assessment, considering Green averaged 12.9 points playing for the Nets, who had probably given up on the season by the time they acquired him. Defensively, Green is nowhere near as good as Dahntay, whom I believe was overrated in that department anyway. At the moment I’d say the trade is a wash, but Green certainly provides more potential, especially on the offensive end.
Lastly, they now have Augustin, who, like Collison, is a speedy but tiny point guard generously listed at 6’0″. Augustin’s shooting numbers have not been pretty in Charlotte, but this may be because he was forced to force things a lot over there. I think Collison, for all his faults, is a starting PG in the league, and will thrive in Dallas. So Augustin does have some decently sized shoes to fill. On the bright side for the Pacers, Augustin is said to be more of a pass first point guard, something the team desperately needs. Chances are Augustin could be the best passer on the team now, considering neither Hill nor AJ Price (if he stays) are great passers. Lance Stephenson might be better (if not more out of control), but he might not get the minutes. At best, I’d say Augustin for Collison is a wash as well, but I have a feeling the Pacers might regret this down the track.
So now that the dust has settled, perhaps the Pacers did come out on top overall. They lost two guys and gained three. If Green and Jones cancel each other out and Augustin and Collison do the same, then the Pacers at least got Mahinmi out of it. And big men in the league are rare these days.
Here is the current depth chart (only includes guys currently signed):
C: Roy Hibbert/Ian Mahinmi/Miles Plumlee
PF: David West/Tyler Hansbrough/Jeff Pendergraph
SF: Danny Granger/Gerald Green
SG: Paul George/Orlando Johnson
PG: George Hill/DJ Augustin/Lance Stephenson
I’ve included each player’s name just once for the sake of simplicity but of course Mahinmi and Plumlee can also play SF, Green can also play SG, George can also play SF, and Hill and Stephenson can both play SG.
That’s 13 players with 2 roster spots to fill. Tyler Hansbrough remains on the hotseat and could be traded. AJ Price, Lou Amundson and Leandro Barbosa are all free agents, and it remains to be seen whether any of them will be re-signed. The only other name out there the Pacers appear to be going after is OJ Mayo, who would slot nicely into that SG backup spot behind Paul George.
Personally, I’m not convinced that is a better team than last season, at least not yet. I’ll remain patient for now until the Pacers finish dealing.