Should the Indiana Pacers pursue this free agent big man?

Isaiah Jackson - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Jackson - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Still having an open roster spot and a gigantic cap space amidst a depleted free agent market, the Indiana Pacers could very well be slated for a final hurrah before the offseason ends. Much of the noise around the team has been on the trade front, but all things considered, a free agency signing should not be out of the question.

In fact, as the roster currently stands, the Pacers still have one, unresolved problem surrounding the team, which is their lack of frontcourt depth. Their three-headed big man rotation of Myles Turner, Isaiah Jackson, and Jalen Smith (sorry, Goga), which could lose a head given the ceaseless Turner trade rumors, simply won’t cut it for next season.

Hence, should Indiana take a gamble on this free agent big man?

Should the Indiana Pacers take a flier on this RFA big man?

Montrezl Harrell, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year just two years ago, remains without a club. His well-documented legal issues in the present and reported negative locker room disposition are bona fide question marks, but his acumen, judged per se, should easily be something that raises the ceiling of bench units.


Well, context matters. And with Harrell, his shortcomings are walking prompts for any prospective buyer to cave to his needs to make him effective. The Indiana Pacers do have a need for another big body on the roster, but the team is not well-equipped to cover for his weaknesses.

For starters, Harrell is severely undersized at the center position. Standing at just 6’7, he is always outsized by opposing big men. While agile and perhaps even elite as a finisher, Harrell’s play style is too dependent on others for it to be viable.

To be effective, Harrell needs a consistent pick-and-roll partner who can set him up for free rim drives. However, is complete lack of even a mid-range game cements him as a center who cannot downsize to power forward. Any team that wants to give him big minutes will have to commit to playing small.

As remedy, he can be surrounded by big wings to mitigate impending defensive issues and involve him in switching actions instead. The thing is, the Pacers already have a complete shortage of big wings. He had that with the LA Clippers, where he won the 6MOTY award, but following that year, he simply fell off a cliff, especially as a stopper.

With all the abovesaid considered, the Indiana Pacer could viably take a gamble on Montrezl Harrell still, perhaps just to pluck someone whom they can use as trade bait later on if all goes well. However, in view of his off-court issues and tough on-court needs, the team will be better off looking elsewhere to fill their frontcourt hole.

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