Written by Chad Smith
One thing is for certain during this time of year; summer league is, well…summer league.
Although it may seem far fetched at this point of the year, I can actually see the Pacers taking a nice step forward into next season. If things go how I see them, we will actually find out if the Pacers are on the road to recovery, or just playing for another lottery pick.
Obviously the biggest question for this franchise right now, is who will be the starting point guard for them next year and possibly further down the road? With Luther Head and Earl Watson out of town, and AJ Price recovering from injury, the last option may be to stick TJ Ford back into the mix; bad idea.
There is hope however, and it comes with a risk. His name is Lance Stephenson, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he is that guy from New York.
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. We already have seven or eight wing players, and if we could take one of them like Lance and get him to run the point, good things could happen for this franchise.
Of course there is a big risk, with his off the court problems and maturity issues, but ever since the Pacers took him in the second round of the draft he has shown promise. If Lance is able to establish himself at the PG spot, that might clear things up for the other guys like Dahntay Jones, Paul George, Brandon Rush, Danny Granger, etc.
I don’t really see Dunleavy adding a lot to the team next year, and I don’t think we will see a lot of Jeff Foster, but with Roy Hibbert, Granger, and Dahntay Jones, at least you know what you are getting.
I don’t know if I am still sold on Tyler contributing to the team very much, but he will get his minutes.
I think if the Pacers are able to make a trade soon, Murphy seems like the most likely to move (along with Ford and Rush). If those things do transpire, my starting five could look something like this to start the season:
PG Lance Stephenson
SG Dahntay Jones
SF Paul George
PF Danny Granger
C Roy Hibbert
Before you go off bashing me, hear me out.
With Lance at the point, he not only can distribute, but he is a legit threat to score at any given time. With Dahntay at the 2 being able to lock down the premier shooting guards in the league, Paul George can find his game at the 3 spot.
Having Granger at the 4 will give him many favorable matchups on the offensive end. Hibbert continues to impress me and is probably my favorite player on the roster right now because of his work ethic, his attitude, and his desire to become a great player.
Who knows what the roster will look like to begin the season, and hopefully there will be some trades before then. As of right now, this is the best option for the Pacers in my opinion at this point.