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View Full Version : Mark Montieth: Pacers Q&A, July 6, 2005



Will Galen
07-06-2005, 03:30 PM
http://www2.indystar.com/articles/8/025639-4458-116.html

Mark Montieth: Pacers Q&A
Indianapolis Star sports reporter Mark Montieth answers your questions about the Pacers.

July 6, 2005
Question: How is the new NBA age limit worded? I know that the new limit is 19, but some high school players are already 19 when they graduate. Does one still have to sit out a year after high school, or can the 19 year-old high school players go directly to the NBA? (Reid from Indianapolis)

Answer: The new Collective Bargaining Agreement states that players must be 19 and one year removed from high school. So, a 19-year-old high school graduate still would have to sit out a year. This only makes sense, since some parents would start "redshirting" kids in grade school or later if it allowed them to go straight to the NBA.



Question: You did an excellent piece on Sarunas Jasikevicius. Why can't the Pacers draft such a player? What are the rules on drafting international players? (Tim from Mesa, Ariz.)

Answer: International players can not be drafted after they are 22 years old, and Jasikevicius is 29. He could have been drafted after his senior season at Maryland, but was not.



Question: I've been hearing a lot about the Pacers possibly releasing Austin Croshere, and I think this may be a wrong move unless they're able to land someone good. Is it possible for Austin and the Pacers to make a new contract with Croshere making less? And if so, what are the chances Austin would accept that? (David from Milwaukee, Wis.)

Answer: NBA contracts can't be renegotiated, and even if they could it's unlikely Croshere would do so. He has an option on his contract this season, so if he wanted to become a free agent he could. But he would face the likelihood of having to sign a much lesser contract. He has two years remaining on his contract, and there is no option next summer.

You're right, it could be a mistake to let Croshere go. He's proved to be very valuable at times, especially when injuries thin the lineup. The Pacers probably wouldn't let him go unless they're assured of signing a significant free agent. Another option is for Croshere to take a buyout, which would allow him to get most of his contract and still become a free agent.



Question: Here's a question that shows my age a little bit. Didn't the Pacers in the late '70s, early '80s have the possibility of drafting Bird, Jordan, and Drexler? They passed on Bird when he was a junior at ISU. They picked Stipo instead of Drexler. And this is the one I need help on: Didn't the pick the Blazers used to pick Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan originally belong to the Pacers and they traded it to Portland? If so, who did we get in return?

Are my assumptions correct or has Father Time eroded my brain cells??? (George from Middletown, Ind.)

Answer: Father Time has been good to your brain cells, George. I can't speak for your hair or your vertical jump, but your memory seems to be working just fine. You're correct on all three counts.

Pacers coach Slick Leonard met with Bird and a Terre Haute businessman, Ed Jukes, at the Downtown Hyatt before the 1978 draft and discussed the possibility of drafting him. Leonard told Bird he would take him if he would come out of college a year early, but Bird wanted to stay for his senior season. (He was eligible for the '78 draft because he had sat out a year after transferring from Indiana and his original college class had become draft eligible.)

Leonard didn't believe he could afford to draft Bird and wait a year because the franchise was in dire straights -- it was coming off a 31-51 season and barely surviving financially. Leonard questioned whether he would be able to afford Bird's contract and was in need of immediate help because he had just lost Dan Roundfield to free agency.

The Pacers had offered Roundfield $200,000 ("money we didn't have," Leonard recalls) but Jerry Colangelo offered $425,000 in Phoenix and Atlanta topped that. Roundfield wound up in Atlanta.

So, the Pacers wound up trading the first pick in the 1978 draft to Portland for Johnny Davis and the third overall pick. Portland used the No. 1 pick on Mychal Thompson and the Pacers drafted Rick Robey. The Pacers traded Robey midway through the first season to Boston for Billy Knight, so they got two good, veteran players for that No. 1 pick.

In 1983, the Pacers took Steve Stipanovich with the No. 2 pick. Clyde Drexler went 14th to Portland. That draft, like the one in 1978, turned out to be a weak one. Ralph Sampson went ahead of Stipanovich. The only other player out of the top eight to make much of an impact was Byron Scott (fourth).

The biggest mishap occurred in 1984. The Pacers would have had the second pick in the draft, but three years earlier had traded it for the first pick in the '84 draft to get Tom Owens. Jack McKinney, the coach in 1981, had just come off a playoff season and been named Coach of the Year. He had just lost James Edwards to free agency and needed another center. His hope was to make the playoffs again and parlay that into a job with a more financially secure franchise.

So, what did he care about three years down the road? Little did he know that the greatest player in the game's history would be available with that first-round pick in 1984. Owens, a journeyman, averaged 10.5 points for the Pacers the following season and then was traded to Detroit for a second-round pick. Imagine that. The player taken with the pick that could have brought MIchael Jordan was traded for a second-round pick one year later.

Houston took Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick in '84 and Portland took Sam Bowie second, leaving Jordan to go to Chicago with the third pick. Portland made the classic mistake of putting need ahead of talent. They had Drexler, and didn't see a need for Jordan. They did need a big man, so they took Bowie, who averaged 10.9 points over 10 NBA seasons.



Question: I'm pleased as punch that the Pacers stole Danny Granger in the draft, but I have a couple of other draft-related questions for you.

First off, Bracey Wright was available when the Pacers' second-round pick came up. How seriously did the team look at him, and what ultimately prevented him from becoming a Pacer?

Secondly, David Logan is one of the most impressive Division II guards I've ever seen. I know he worked out with the team and did not get picked up in the draft, so what are the chances of seeing Logan sign a developmental contract with the Pacers? (Michael from Evansville, Ind.)

Answer: I asked Larry Bird about Bracey Wright on the night of the draft and he said he didn't consider him. He had his eye on Lorbek all along with that pick. The Pacers have three point guards under contract for next season, along with Stephen Jackson and Fred Jones, so they didn't have a great need for a guard. Of course they don't have a great need for a forward, either. But Bird had followed Lorbek for a couple of years and was impressed with him.

Logan worked out for the Pacers twice before the draft, although one of those workouts was a favor to them because they needed a guard to assist in drills and a two-on-two game. It's my understanding they offered him a spot on their summer league team, but Mark Cuban called Logan and gave a personal invitation to play on the Dallas summer league team.



Question: The Pacers already have eight players listed as a forward. Why draft two more? They must be planning on getting rid of a couple. Austin Croshere? Jonathan Bender? Ron Artest in a trade? (Jeremy from Avon, Ind.)

Answer: The Pacers have depth at every position, really, so whoever they drafted might have given the impression they were looking to trade veterans at that position. They simply took the players they liked best at their respective positions.

I wouldn't be surprised by any trade the Pacers make this summer, regardless of the position. I doubt they trade Artest or Bender, but it's possible they'll let Croshere go to take advantage of the new rule that allows teams amnesty from the luxury tax. But they wouldn't do that unless they can sign another free agent.



Question: Is there any possibility the Pacers will go after Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Being an unrestricted free agent I would think the Cavs would rather get something in return rather than losing him outright.

I think the Pacers should offer Jeff Foster for him. I believe Foster makes in the 5-6 million range, which might be enough to lure Ilgauskas to a contender. Although I would hate to lose Foster, adding a top 5 center could put the Pacers over the top. (Brian from Indianapolis)

Answer: I don't see the Pacers getting involved with Ilgauskas. He'll command more than Foster's salary in the marketplace, at least from Cleveland, and although he's been healthy the last three seasons he'll always be a risk because of all the foot problems he had earlier in his career.

His agent is seeking a four- or five-year contract at nearly $10 million a year, and that's a major risk. If he could be had for the mid-level exception he's be a good acquisition, but the Pacers would have to restructure the starting lineup to accommodate him. Right now they're best suited for a non-scoring center such as Foster or Dale Davis.

I expect Ilgauskas to re-sign with Cleveland.



Question: I don't know what I'm loving more, the pick of Danny Granger at 17 or the national pub we're getting out of it. It's outstanding to see good things written about the Pacers by the national media again.

Does this pick mean the end of Jon Bender? I love the kid, but six years of sticking up for him have worn thin on me. I would imagine his potential would intrigue someone enough to offer an expiring contract in exchange for him. Also, do you know if the Pacers are planning on inking Fred Jones to an extension? (Andy from Indianapolis)

Answer: I don't see Granger affecting Bender's status. As I stated in an earlier answer, the Pacers simply took the best player they could get, regardless of position. They took Granger over Gerald Green because they wanted someone who can contribute immediately.

They're still working closely with Bender, trying to get him ready to play again. He apparently will play in some of their summer league games. The Pacers have so much time and money invested in him that I can't see them trading him for just anybody. At the same time, another team isn't likely to give up a lot for him because of his history with injuries.

It's difficult to guess what the Pacers will do regarding Jones. At this point I would guess they won't offer an extension, however. If he's not included in a trade this summer, they could let him play out next season and then become a restricted free agent. At that point the marketplace would determine his value.



Question: I have a question in regards to the new CBA. I haven't heard much talk about Commissioner David Stern's power, but it seemed that many Pacers fans felt like he had too much power and was quick to issue out his suspension of Ron Artest and ultimately Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson.

Is there any chance that this will change with the new CBA? Also, is there any chance of a committee that could decide such a thing, so that we don't have any more "1-0" decisions by Satan ... sorry, I mean Stern. (Adam from Reston, Va.)

Answer: You've gotten your wish, Adam. The new agreement calls for an appeals committee to hear suspensions of 12 games or more that relate to oncourt incidents. Think of this as the "Ron Artest Rule." Or, for that matter, the Jermaine O'Neal or Stephen Jackson Rule.

blanket
07-06-2005, 05:43 PM
Question: I've been hearing a lot about the Pacers possibly releasing Austin Croshere, and I think this may be a wrong move unless they're able to land someone good. Is it possible for Austin and the Pacers to make a new contract with Croshere making less? And if so, what are the chances Austin would accept that? (David from Milwaukee, Wis.)

Answer: NBA contracts can't be renegotiated, and even if they could it's unlikely Croshere would do so. He has an option on his contract this season, so if he wanted to become a free agent he could. But he would face the likelihood of having to sign a much lesser contract. He has two years remaining on his contract, and there is no option next summer.

You're right, it could be a mistake to let Croshere go. He's proved to be very valuable at times, especially when injuries thin the lineup. The Pacers probably wouldn't let him go unless they're assured of signing a significant free agent. Another option is for Croshere to take a buyout, which would allow him to get most of his contract and still become a free agent.

What would be the advantage to the Pacers for buying out Croshere's contract instead of using the one-time waiver clause?

Seems to me that if you buy his contract out, then you're going to be paying a sum close to the amount he's already due from his contract, without reaping the benefits of the the luxury tax exemption. The only thing I could see is if we space out his buyout over many years, so the yearly impact on the team's payroll is greatly reduced. Is this even possible?

indygeezer
07-06-2005, 05:54 PM
If you buy-out his contract, isn't he taken off the roster and not counted against the cap? Whereas with the ETO he still counts toward the cap but is not counted toward the LT.


DUH...........I'm getting a headache.

Lord Helmet
07-06-2005, 06:12 PM
http://www2.indystar.com/articles/8/025639-4458-116.html




Question: I have a question in regards to the new CBA. I haven't heard much talk about Commissioner David Stern's power, but it seemed that many Pacers fans felt like he had too much power and was quick to issue out his suspension of Ron Artest and ultimately Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson.

Is there any chance that this will change with the new CBA? Also, is there any chance of a committee that could decide such a thing, so that we don't have any more "1-0" decisions by Satan ... sorry, I mean Stern. (Adam from Reston, Va.)

Answer: You've gotten your wish, Adam. The new agreement calls for an appeals committee to hear suspensions of 12 games or more that relate to oncourt incidents. Think of this as the "Ron Artest Rule." Or, for that matter, the Jermaine O'Neal or Stephen Jackson Rule.

Nice goin' va. :laugh: I really like that rule, too.

Kegboy
07-06-2005, 06:45 PM
Guys, you should know better. Hence, the penalty:


:bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny: :bunny:

:runout:

DisplacedKnick
07-06-2005, 06:56 PM
If you buy-out his contract, isn't he taken off the roster and not counted against the cap? Whereas with the ETO he still counts toward the cap but is not counted toward the LT.


DUH...........I'm getting a headache.

No - he still counts against the cap according to this formula:

Buyout$$$ divided by Years remaining on original contract

It would count less but it would still count.

indygeezer
07-06-2005, 07:03 PM
No - he still counts against the cap according to this formula:

Buyout$$$ divided by Years remaining on original contract

It would count less but it would still count.


I knew it was something like that.

Ya know, I really hate the off season. Ya lurk around for months, reading, speculating, counting the days...and either something happens (but no more than 1 thing in a period of months) or nothing at all happens. I wish I could just hibernate until say September and then catch up on all that hasn't happened.


Blech....I want some games....World Games....Olympics....SOMETHING!!!

MagicRat
07-09-2005, 03:07 PM
good to see my question get answered....

Congrats, Jeremy from Avon......