One cheap forward the Indiana Pacers can poach in free agency

Rick Carlisle - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers have a lot of money to spend in free agency, which should give them the needed wiggle room to even make a legitimate run at a star-level player. However, the Circle City has historically been far from a free agent destination, setting the table for the front office to pony up in search of bargain bin players to pursue.

Aside from throwing money on immediate contributors, the Pacers have to be smart in their offseason strategy. Aside from nailing the upcoming NBA Draft, they should be proactive in addressing obvious roster holes, such as their lack of depth in the forward positions.

The Indiana Pacers can pursue this forward for cheap in free agency

One player that the Indiana Pacers front office can set their sights on is current Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince. A natural tweener, the 6’7, 218-lb forward will enter free agency after spending one season with the Wolves.

His numbers this season have plummeted due to limited court time. After averaging 11.6 points, and 4.3 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per outing in his first four seasons in the league, Prince only registered 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 17.1 minutes per contest in the recently concluded campaign.

This decline in production, however, could spell good things for the Pacers. After all, Prince should be in line for a deal lower than his current salary which stand at north of $12 million per year.

Taurean Prince could supply the Pacers with another viable option to log heavy minutes at the forward positions. With only Oshae Brissett currently on deck to man the tweener spots next season, and TJ Warren being an unlikely buy for Indiana, bringing in the 28-year-old should be a low-risk, high-reward move that will not curtail the Pacers’ other plans in free agency.

Prince does not tally an eye-popping amount of steals or blocks, but he has the physique, length, and grit to defend capable scorers. He is also a capable defender. On offense, he is a good threat from downtown with his career 37.1 percent mark on triples and rarely turns the ball over. After all, he is deliberate with his role, mostly serving as a drive-and-kick option who can attack closeouts against slower defenders.

After a less productive season in Minnesota, the Indiana Pacers should be a realistic and viable landing spot for Taurean Prince. Signing him may not be the sexiest move there is, but going after players like him is the best way for the team to improve on the margins without affecting their long-term financial outlook.

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