Now that things have died down around the Pacers organization, let’s take a look at all that’s happened in the past couple of weeks. I don’t see the team making any more moves, and feel like what they have done will improve this team, and hopefully continue the good play that happened last year.
First, let’s talk about the front office. Larry Bird has stepped down to take a year off, and get things cleared up in his end. I don’t see him being gone too long, especially since he still did the draft for the Pacers, and I feel like he’s got a good relationship with the players on this team. I think he wants to be there for what they can do, and be part of that.
But this means that Donnie Walsh has been brought back to the team as President and Kevin Pritchard stepped up into the role of general manager. Walsh has said he will still be in contact with Bird, so that’s why I think we’ll see Larry Bird back in some role, possibly as early as next year. I would imagine he would step into the president role and keep Pritchard where he is at.
The front office made some great moves by resigning George Hill and matching the Portland Trailblazers’ offer to Roy Hibbert. Sure that’s a lot of money tied into guys, but these are two starters that you had to bring back if you want the Pacers to compete in the Eastern. Two starters that bring some energy to the team, especially in Hibbert’s case. I love the fans of Area 55, his own designated fan zone, and I know that Hibbert looks to be a great member of this team and the community of Indianapolis. It was a no brainer to keep him around.
George Hill had stepped into the starting role in the month of April, and the team did look to be more under control when he was on the floor. He’s an Indianapolis guy, so I think the fans love having him around here. It’s not very often you can have a case like that. I look for him to continue to step up in his role as the point guard of the Pacers, and I would imagine he’ll take on a leadership type role with this team.
There were moves made to improve upon the bench and see who the Pacers could add. There was a sign and trade with the Mavericks that some people scratched their heads at, but when looking at it deeper, I see the reasoning. Darren Collison was part of this trade, who has an expiring contract. Therefore, he could leave for any team after this coming season, and I can’t imagine the Pacers would have the funds available to keep him around, so therefore trading him for Dallas Mavericks’ player in Ian Mahinmi was a good move on the Pacers’ part.
This is a center/power forward type player who might not give much on the floor, but has some good athletic ability, and should be able to come in and play some minutes. The Pacers also unloaded Dahntay Jones, who at times was good, but then at times not good. He wasn’t as consistent as needed, and he was probably going to be gone soon anyways.
The Pacers also signed a couple of guard position players in DJ Augustin and Gerald Green. Augustin played pretty well for the Charlotte Bobcats a year ago, and should prove to be a good backup at the point guard position. Green is still a bit unproven, but did show some good flashes last season in his time with the Brooklyn Nets. Two guys that shouldn’t be asked to do too much, but will still need to contribute as far as the bench goes.
Not sure what the rest of this off season will bring. There were small rumblings that Tyler Hansbrough might be moving on somewhere through a trade, but I like Hansbrough’s game, and would hate to lose that intensity he brings. But then again, he seemed to struggle for a bit the last season, so maybe he needs to be moved. I just don’t see any major moves for the Pacers as their starting lineup is set and good for the next few years, which is great. The bench could add a piece or two here. But still a good off season for the team, and it should pay off for the up coming regular season.