A disappointing season is leading the Indiana Pacers into a dark hole but the young guys aren’t getting the minutes to make it worthwhile. With just a handful of games left on the schedule, should the Pacers see what they have in Cassius Stanley?
Fresh off a dominant win over the Thunder in which the Pacers were able to empty the bench early, it may be time to throw out some different lineups to see how the roster will shape up next season. It is clear that this year’s team is not going to compete for a title or really even in the first round of the playoffs.
Cassius Stanley needs to see the floor for the Indiana Pacers
Even though Stanley has struggled in his limited playing time this season, I would argue it’s due to his lack of experience and consistent time on the court. Indiana has a deep rotation at the guard spots and Stanley was one of the last picks in the draft, therefore there was no rush to get him into the rotation.
With things falling off the rails, maybe the Pacers should just throw Stanley and some others out there to get a head start on the roster construction for next season. Oshae Brissett and Edmond Sumner have done a great job in their respective roles this season, why not see if Stanley can make a similar impact?
Of course, throwing Stanley on the floor would take minutes away from other guys that are trying to prove their worth, including third-year guard Aaron Holiday. Holiday, who had a rough start to his season, has been playing much better since the All-Star break and I would not be upset if he returned next season in a more fitting role.
Stanley offers a lot of athleticism to the second unit, very similar to what we witnessed with Sumner when he first arrived in Indiana. Even if the team does not expect Stanley to be a high-impact contributor, they still need to figure out if he is worth an end-of-the-bench spot on the roster moving forward.
Indiana has a long history of not playing rookies enough and stunting some of their development. Several former Pacers have gone on to have solid careers for other franchises when they get a chance to play, most notably Alize Johnson and Georges Niang.
The season is almost certainly a wash at this point but the Pacers will more than likely compete in the play-in tournament. Let’s just have some fun in the final weeks of the season.