This is a guest post written by Max Minsker of hardcourtmayhem.com/max
The Indiana Pacers have a huge problem at the point guard position. They have a solid roster all together, but they don’t have anyone to run the point. They were shopping their 10th pick in this year’s draft for a point guard, but obviously no one bit.
At the beginning of next season the Pacers may very well be stuck with Lance Stephenson running the point. Stephenson has impressed so far, but is seen as more of a scorer than a distributor. He played point guard in high school, but was moved to shooting guard when he got to Cincinnati.
The Pacers also have A.J. Price and T.J. Ford at point guard and while it is likely they will both see good minutes, they will be coming off the bench. Ford’s value is seen almost exclusively as an expiring contract.
The Pacers have little roster flexibility to trade for a point guard. If they were to try to acquire a guard through a trade, the salaries would have to match-up or they would have to take on less money than they sent out, but very few teams are looking to absorb contracts at this point. The Pacers have said publicly that they are not willing to go into the luxury tax for any reason. They do have expiring contracts, but if they plan on making big moves in free agency 2011 they will likely try to hold on to them.
As I just explained, the Pacers do have big expiring contracts which will allow them to be big players in next year’s free agency period (if they decide to keep them). Tony Parker will be an unrestricted free agent next year. It seems unlikely that Parker would leave San Antonio for Indiana of all places, but if the Pacers can lure another big free agent in, Parker may be willing to take a chance and go to Indiana to chase a ring.
If Parker says he would like to have a chance to win another championship and will leave San Antonio, the Pacers could attempt to trade for Parker by giving away their valuable expiring contacts along with picks, sign him to an extension and be able to pitch a new big three to another big name free agent. This idea may seem a little crazy (it is), but the Pacers look like they may be in a good position to get a big name point guard.
Another scenario is if the Pacers decided to go for Ramon Sessions. With Luke Ridnour now on the T’Wolves, they have been looking to trade Sessions. Sessions is only 24 years old and he has been productive in the past. He may not be ready to start, but if the Pacers really don’t think Ford or Price are viable options, Sessions could play good minutes for the Pacers and be ready to contribute right away.
There is one more option the Pacers have been looking into. According to ESPN rumor central that option is starting Stephenson at the point this season and drafting a point guard next year.
The Pacers will likely end up in the lottery again next year, and they should have a shot at one of the elite one and done point guards in that draft. Brandon Knight, Josh Selby, and Kyrie Irving are all projected to be lottery picks and if the Pacers think they may have a shot at one of those players, that might be to much to pass up. All three of them are elite prospects that turn into the Pacers’ point guard of the future.
There are many different ways the Pacers could go with this decision, and you have to figure they are already drawing up big plans to obtain their point guard of the future. Whether it be Sessions, Parker, or someone who isn’t even in the NBA yet remains to be seen. The Pacers have some decisions to make. I hope they think carefully.