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View Full Version : 2006 off-season evaluation part 5



Peck
05-18-2006, 03:31 PM
The point guard position.

On paper this is a mess. We have 3 point guards on contract & we have one un-restricted free agent who I doubt the team signs back. None of the three point guards are outstanding & each is flawed in thier own way.

Anthony Johnson

The good: Nobody works harder & very few players in the NBA have worked as hard to get to the point where he is as a player. I think some of us forget that this is a guy who has bounced around the minor leagues & several other teams before he made the Pacers his home. He is a solid defender, he is a solid shooter, he is capable of creating his own shot. He is a good freethrow shooter & most of all he is a solid veteran leader who has been mature in a very difficult situation.

The bad: He has below average speed for a point guard. He is probably at best an average passer, some will argue that he is below average (I disagree but I won't argue). He does not have great court vision & frankly it is in quesiton on how well he would run a faster paced team.

The outlook: He has earned his spot. There is no way this guy should be relegated to third string again. I believe that he is the perfect backup point guard in the NBA but he has made it so that it's hard to argue why he shouldn't be the starter in the NBA. He just outplayed Jason Kidd, not just outscoring him but outplaying him all over the floor. However there is this to consider as well, his trade value is at an all-time high. It is a possibility that he could be packaged with one of the knuckleheads to make a bigger package.

Jamaal Tinsley

The good: He is a supremely gifted ball handler. Need to break a full court press? Send in Jamaal & the other teams just stop trying because they are not going to pick his pocket. He also has an uncanny ability to get under other teams p.g.'s skin. He can create his own shot & his is very good at creating shots for others. He has great floor vision & is a decent ball hawker on defense.

The bad: He is slow for a point guard. He is not a very good shooter from either distance or close range. He can create his own shot but has a hard time converting his shots into baskets. He tends to freelance on defense & while he often times steals the ball he more often than not will get burned because he left his man to try & steal the ball. He tends to get into one on one upsmanship & will just throw whatever game plan the coach has right out the window to try & get his. Some of you applaud that, however I don't care who the coach is it is not good to have your point guard just decide to go Iverson on you. Do I need to talk about injurys?

The outlook: Anthony Johnson said in his post game 6 press conferance that "the culture needs to change". Well, I'm sad to say for some of you that the first step in changing this culture should begin with Jamaal Tinsley. Remember this is coming from a person who until last season was a Jamaal Tinsley fan. Last season I said we needed to move him because we couldn't trust him because of injurys, this season I'm just saying he needs to go, period. I might as well P!ss off the people who always get p!ssed at me whenever I question an injury or illness. I'm just going to say it now, Jamaal has dogged some of his injury's. Does that mean that he was never injured or never sick? No, that's not what I'm saying. I am saying that some of his stuff was because he was either mad at being benched (I saw this first hand), unhappy about something or frankly (& I'm really gonna p!ss some of you off with this statement) was not in any physical shape to play because of being out to late partying. His freelance attitude on the floor also is a turnoff to me now because I think this team needs togetherness more than anything & he just doesn't fit it.

Am I afraid he will go somewhere else & blow up on us? Not really. I don't subscribe to the theory that he is only who he is because Rick Carlisle is the coach. I think he is who he is, period.

Is he talented? Without question. However as a team we cannot trust him to be at games on a daily basis & I'd rather go through the entire season knowing that A.J. was the starter than having to worry about how the team will mix & mesh with a rotating starting point guard spot.

Feel free to fire away at me.

Sarunas Jasikevicius

The good: He is a great freethrow shooter & as some of our games have shown us this last season you can never have to many good freethrow shooters on your team. He is a good outside shooter & has shown an ability & willingness to try & go at the basket. He can be a breathtaking passer in the open court & can hit a cutter as well as anybody in the NBA.

The Bad: Like every one of our point guards he is slow. His defense has gone from horrid to bad so that at least is an improvement but it's not enough. He goes through shooting slumps that would make Jeff Foster proud. He has a very hard time dealing with pressure & quite often has to get rid of the ball so the other team doesn't steal it for a wide open layup. Often times tries the fancy pass when a simple pass would do & thus has caused more than one turn over on a fast break when he should have just taken an easy shot but he was showing off. Yes, I said he was showing off. To me this no look stuff is no differant than a reverse dunk, he just can't do that.

The outlook: Honestly I don't know about this one. If Carlisle is here I just don't see the point in keeping him on the team. He is not going to be happy being a 3rd string p.g. & unless they just commit to A.J. & Saras I don't see him being above J.T. or A.J. Eastern Conferance basketball may not be his cup of tea anyway, he would be better suited to a more uptempo offense out west. Toronto might also be a good place for him as well. However if they do get rid of Rick I could see Saras staying here & thriving as a backup p.g. If he keeps improving his ball handling & defense he could be a real asset. Also, not to bring this up again because I think the team has addressed this with him, but he has to keep his mouth shut to the foreign press. He can talk to them but he cannot be critical of the team or his team mates, I just don't think that set well with the club.


Overall I think our p.g. situation has to be addressed. I would be perfectly ok if the team could either trade for or draft a good young p.g. who would be a bench player this season & let A.J. start then next season transition into A.J. as the backup.

But I just don't see how they can come back with all three on the roster next season.

Unclebuck
05-18-2006, 03:45 PM
Tinsley and Saras have to go, I don't care who the coach is.

Young
05-18-2006, 03:45 PM
I will be pissed if all three of these guys are back.

I want Tinsley out of here. He needs a fresh start as much as we do.

I would also explore trading Anthony just because his trade value should be high.

I'd probably keep Saras for sure but I would make it very clear to Rick, or whoever our coach is, that Saras is not a 2 guard and should not be played at the 2.

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 03:55 PM
If Saras isn't going to play the 2, then I absolutely want him gone and the team should keep AJ as the "combo" guard. Now if his trade value is so high that we get an offer we can't refuse then we shouldn't refuse it. But we also shouldn't try to turn AJ into something that he is not: a starting caliber PG in the NBA.

I do not want the team to need to play four guards in the playoffs next year. I don't really care what they do about the rotatoin in the regular season, but only three guards in the playoffs.

Our backup guard needs to be able to play both positions (unless we trade for a starting guard that can shift among both guard positions.)

Or, better yet, we should look at what SA and Dallas have done with two starting guards that are basically interchangeable between PG and SG. Terry, Harris, Parker, Manu and Brent Barry are just "guards", not SGs, not PGs. Just Guards. I like that.

I'd rather Tinsley stay because starting caliber PGs are hard to find. But if we find one, then all bets are off.

Frank Slade
05-18-2006, 04:14 PM
I will be pissed if all three of these guys are back.

I want Tinsley out of here. He needs a fresh start as much as we do.

I would also explore trading Anthony just because his trade value should be high.

I'd probably keep Saras for sure but I would make it very clear to Rick, or whoever our coach is, that Saras is not a 2 guard and should not be played at the 2.

Agreed, Agreed and Agreed.

Plus keep in mind technically Saras was a rookie, I think everyone had such high expectations, plus at times was playing the wrong position.

I think there is a good chance you have seen the worst you are going to see from Sarunas .

I am not saying he is certainly the answer at point but to ship him out after one year, after many other players on this team , have had far more than their share of chances, would not be fair or wise .. IMO

Plus let's be real.. Sarunas is Larry's guy no way is he trading him at this point. Right or wrong. I don't think he want's to give up just yet and admit he was wrong..

beast23
05-18-2006, 04:46 PM
Tinsley and Saras have to go, I don't care who the coach is.Totally agree.

Tinsley is not going to bring back the guard we need in a 1-for-1 trade. But I'd be willing to trade, Tinsley, Saras, Jackson and a draft pick in a 3-for-2 trade to bring back the type of PG that we need. A ballhandler, defender, better than average shooter and distributor.

I would also be fine with AJ starting next year if we can't get our hands on the PG that we really need to start. But if we can pull off the above trade, I'd go with just two PGs and re-sign Freddie as a backup SG and disaster PG.

Gamble
05-18-2006, 05:28 PM
Ship all 3 if you want or keep 2 but I honestly think Bird will
trade either Tinsley or Johnson. Saras will be kept but I am not
sure he can be our second string man if he can't beat alittle pressure.

I honestly believe its what available more than anything. I could see
us making a stab at a reasonable free agent like Cassell. I know he's
older than Chuck Norris but he still has what it takes.

I would much rather trade for a PG than sign one in the FA market.
My biggest fear is that we fail at addressing our center and pg positions.

Moses
05-18-2006, 05:33 PM
Trade Johnson and fire Carlisle.

I love Johnson..but he can't play as a backup. Any time JT returned to the starting lineup and AJ was demoted to 2nd string, he played horrible. AJ was fantastic as the starter..but he's not what this team needs in a PG. I say we trade AJ with Jackson and try and get a good center.

brichard
05-18-2006, 07:12 PM
Tinsley gone.

Johnson stays. He will be happy to start or play backup and he is a good value for what he brings to the table.

If Rick stays, Saras goes. Too much money to not play and I think his trade value may actually be okay. Somebody out there is going to feel he was mis-used at Indiana and recollect his glory days in the Euroleague. However, his trade value will continue to decrease unless his play changes dramatically.

ABADays
05-18-2006, 08:39 PM
Anthony Johnson has the worst hands I've ever seen in a point guard. He consistently has trouble keeping his dribble under control. Yes, he is a very hard worker but that doesn't always translate to lack of physical ability.

We need a major upgrade at this position.

No need to even comment on Tinsley.

Young
05-18-2006, 10:48 PM
Tinsley and Saras have to go, I don't care who the coach is.

I agree that Tinsley has to go but I disagree on Saras. I'm curious to know why you feel that Saras has to be traded?

Jermaniac
05-18-2006, 11:05 PM
Maybe because he sucks?

We brought the guy on to help us have a good shooter at PG, and he was supposed to be this amazing clutch player who loved big games. What happend in the playoffs? AJ had to play 40 minutes a game because Saras couldnt bring the ball over the halfcourt line.

college31guy
05-18-2006, 11:43 PM
I actually thought that Saras played well in the playoffs. I can't remember a time when he couldn't bring the ball up the court. He improved dramatically with the pressure up the court. And when he played, he usually got us going on a little run. Problem was...Rick only played him like 8 minutes during the whole series. I honestly believe that Saras will be a great guy to have on the team. Not as the starter, but as the back-up PG, I think he could flourish.

RWB
05-19-2006, 08:01 AM
How many years does it take before you finally see what kind of player you have? The Tinman will be starting his 5th season next year so I think we have a good handle on what he is.....talent you can't rely on. Out of the three Tins is my pick to go. AJ has earned the right to start for a year (I believe we're in a transition year anyway).

I think Saranus will be better next season as he was overwhelmed this year. I believe he came in cocky with the belief the NBA was not that big of a step up. Now that he got that experience I still get the feeling this guy's passion will drive him to improve. His physical limitations may prevent this, but it won't be for a lack of trying and I can't say everyone on this team is willing to do the dirty work to get better.

Skaut_Ech
05-19-2006, 09:06 AM
SARAS

I think Saras is going to be a very good PG in the NBA. I think it's a big mistake to write him off based on one season of being asked to play two different positions on an inconsistant team. How many rookies do you normally want traded after their first year? I'm actually pretty amazed that some of you are ready to write him off already. :huh:

Whereas we tended to have longstanding patience with Bender because of his athletic ability, so many are ready to dismiss Saras, despite his obvious bball IQ, which I'll take over athletic ability any day.

I've been saying for a while now that Cabbage reminds me of Mark Price. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Price)

"..The 6-foot former Georgia Tech point guard mystified critics who said he was too slow, too small and too deliberate for a high-level game..."

I keep thinking about Sara's past basketball experience and no, it's not the NBA, and yes, we have a certain snobbishness about European bball, but the guy has been a consistant winner for so long, to say that he can't cut it, so soon is, well....kinda ignorant, to me. :sorry:

Dirk Nowitski looked very lost in his first few seasons. Drazen Petrovic was pretty shakey his first few years, and he got the kind of inconsistant minutes that Saras has gotten.

I just think letting Saras go in a trade that doesn't net us something big would be a self destructive. Saras is a rare commodity: a PG who "gets it." I think he's a guy who just needs steady minutes and a defined role, other than, "hey, stand around the three point line and let us work.."

We need to keep him.

AJ

AJ definitely peaked as the season wore on, but I don't trust his solid play to continue. Not at the level he finished. He is worth keeping....as a backup, but like Croshere, he had his moment in the sun and I think his greatest value is his current trade value, as you say, Peck. It will never get higher than what it is. There was a time where the Celtics, Rockets expressed interest in Austin, but as time wore on, the interest faded.

I think we must move AJ, while we have the chance to move a 32 year old PG who's reached his ability ceiling.

TINSLEY

Quite simply, far too much bad to outweigh the good, from injuries, to his demeanor, to his on court one-upmanship...you get the idea. If we only make one trade this offseason, I think it needs to be Jamaal packaged with Jackson for a PG.

I think Saras is the only one we need to keep. He's got a shorter contract than AJ and I think has more upside.

Frank Slade
05-19-2006, 10:59 PM
I think Saras is going to be a very good PG in the NBA. I think it's a big mistake to write him off based on one season of being asked to play two different positions on an inconsistant team. How many rookies do you normally want traded after their first year? I'm actually pretty amazed that some of you are ready to write him off already. :huh:..

Whereas we tended to have longstanding patience with Bender because of his athletic ability, so many are ready to dismiss Saras, despite his obvious bball IQ, which I'll take over athletic ability any day...

Dirk Nowitski looked very lost in his first few seasons. Drazen Petrovic was pretty shakey his first few years, and he got the kind of inconsistant minutes that Saras has gotten. ..

I just think letting Saras go in a trade that doesn't net us something big would be a self destructive. Saras is a rare commodity: a PG who "gets it." I think he's a guy who just needs steady minutes and a defined role, other than, "hey, stand around the three point line and let us work.."

We need to keep him. ..
I think Saras is the only one we need to keep. He's got a shorter contract than AJ and I think has more upside.
:ding:
Very good points here .... how often do we lament the fact that some guys possess jaw dropping God given talent but underachieve due to bad work ethic or just being a head case. Saras on the other hand may lack some quickness, but I think you have to give him a pass considering the history of the transition it takes from the International Game to the NBA.

Saras makes the least of all three of the PG's, and is only 2 years older than Tinsley.
Keeping Saras would be one of the smaller gambles for this team in recent history.
You never should trade your least experienced and least expensive player to better that position.

Fool
05-19-2006, 11:16 PM
I agree that its too early to write off Saras.

beast23
05-19-2006, 11:31 PM
Saras makes the least of all three of the PG's, and is only 2 years older than Tinsley.
Keeping Saras would be one of the smaller gambles for this team in recent history.
You never should trade your least experienced and least expensive player to better that position.Thank you very much. You just gave an extremely good reason why we should keep AJ. Next season the salaries are:

Tinsley $5,850,000
Saras $4,000,000
AJ $2,640,000

AJ is the least expensive not Saras. So, according to you, if you should never trade your least experienced and least expensive player, would it not sound reasonable that you should never trade your best performing and least expensive player?

After all, isn't that what you really try to do in business? Get the best performance for the least amount of dollars.

Frank Slade
05-19-2006, 11:58 PM
Thank you very much. You just gave an extremely good reason why we should keep AJ. Next season the salaries are:

Tinsley $5,850,000
Saras $4,000,000
AJ $2,640,000

AJ is the least expensive not Saras. So, according to you, if you should never trade your least experienced and least expensive player, would it not sound reasonable that you should never trade your best performing and least expensive player?

After all, isn't that what you really try to do in business? Get the best performance for the least amount of dollars.

Oh Yes your right , Although AJ's salary will be $2,894,737 actually this upcoming year but that is academic.

And I for one did not indicate that you would have to trade AJ.. My indication of keeping Saras does not mean you must trade the other two, If you are able to better your team, and the position, without trading AJ great. AJ is a proven commodity, and steady professional veteran.

I have no problem with him at least fighting for the Starting Job or major minutes going into next season. But..as some have pointed out, he may be a victim of being the most trade-able of the three as far as proven experience.

My point is Saras was a rookie and how many teams during the offseason will be looking to trade their Rookies they drafted last year :confused:

indytoad
05-20-2006, 12:04 AM
I agree that AJ's value will never be higher - he's, what, 32? He's hit his peak as far as ability. Buy low, sell high, as they say. He's really the biggest trade asset we have not named Granger. With his small salary, I think we can use him to get rid of one of our problem players (Jackson seems the most likely) or bad contracts (pretty much everybody else). If no one bites, though, you definately keep him - don't trade unless you get a good deal.

As for Saras, I figure he deserves one more season to straighten himself out. I can't imagine he's as bad a shooter as he seems. I don't think you'll be able to get a whole lot for him at this point anyway - probably a raw kid with potential. I don't think you could get a rotation player for him. So let him see if he can improve.

Tinsley, eh, whatever. Trade him for a second-round pick if you have to. Hell, we did that with JJ, who I'd much rather have at this point.

IndyToad
The best ever created

beast23
05-20-2006, 12:35 AM
Oh Yes your right , Although AJ's salary will be $2,894,737 actually this upcoming year but that is academic.
Not that it matters, but where are you getting your salary for AJ?

Hoopshype has it as I quoted. Is there a better source that is more accurate? If there is, I'd like to update a chart that I keep.

Mourning
05-20-2006, 09:42 AM
I agree that AJ's value will never be higher - he's, what, 32? He's hit his peak as far as ability. Buy low, sell high, as they say. He's really the biggest trade asset we have not named Granger. With his small salary, I think we can use him to get rid of one of our problem players (Jackson seems the most likely) or bad contracts (pretty much everybody else). If no one bites, though, you definately keep him - don't trade unless you get a good deal.

As for Saras, I figure he deserves one more season to straighten himself out. I can't imagine he's as bad a shooter as he seems. I don't think you'll be able to get a whole lot for him at this point anyway - probably a raw kid with potential. I don't think you could get a rotation player for him. So let him see if he can improve.

Tinsley, eh, whatever. Trade him for a second-round pick if you have to. Hell, we did that with JJ, who I'd much rather have at this point.

IndyToad
The best ever created

Wow! We actually agree! How is that for a nice though bizarre twist? :D

;)

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

beast23
05-20-2006, 09:28 PM
I agree that AJ's value will never be higher - he's, what, 32? He's hit his peak as far as ability. Buy low, sell high, as they say. He's really the biggest trade asset we have not named Granger. With his small salary, I think we can use him to get rid of one of our problem players (Jackson seems the most likely) or bad contracts (pretty much everybody else). If no one bites, though, you definately keep him - don't trade unless you get a good deal.
Buy low, sell high. That's a great little one liner when it applies to the stock market. It works great when you have several equally talented assets, but that's not the case with the Pacers.

I don't really agree with getting rid of AJ at all. He's the best performer at PG and he costs us less than anyone else. With a team that is trying to get its salary down closer to the cap, that seems to be a match made in heaven.

But even if we were to trade AJ, one thing is certain to me. You don't trade your best performer at PG unless you are getting back an equal or better performer in the trade or another trade. Because if you do, our ship is bound to sink because it would be stuck with nonperformers at its helm.

Robertmto
05-20-2006, 10:32 PM
I say trade AJ.

Jay Ohh
05-20-2006, 10:38 PM
Wouldn't bother me to see any of them gone. Jamaal needs to go obviously. Better get rid of him before it's too late. Sarunas sucks, but I doubt Bird would admit how terribly wrong he was in getting him after just one season by trading him.

I like AJ, but the dudes in his thirties and his value is as high as it's ever going to be. I'd be all for trading him if we could get something good.

Flax
05-22-2006, 04:54 AM
Since everybody is talking about the high trade value of AJ. How high could it be? Could it be the wishfull thinking? Imagine yourself a buy-side manager and have following thoughts: "The guy was playing great for last 4 months as a starter. Will I start him on my team? Hell, no. Well, he is not as good as second PG and is already 32 years. ****. What should I pay for him?"

Skaut_Ech
05-22-2006, 08:48 AM
Since everybody is talking about the high trade value of AJ. How high could it be? Could it be the wishfull thinking? Imagine yourself a buy-side manager and have following thoughts: "The guy was playing great for last 4 months as a starter. Will I start him on my team? Hell, no. Well, he is not as good as second PG and is already 32 years. ****. What should I pay for him?"

Thing is, he's got high value because he's a precious commodity: A stable, veteran PG.

You've got teams like Houston, Celtics, Utah, Grizzlies, Kings...who either have no strong candidates for starting PG, or not strong fallback to split minutes at backup/starter. THAT's what makes him a strong commodity, in my book.

I don't think it's wishful thinking at all. Teams are hard up for PGs and in a package deal, AJ could be a real deal-maker.

Kestas
05-22-2006, 09:01 AM
it's a good thing no one in the Pacers management cares about what you guys think.
edit: I hope :/

Anthem
05-22-2006, 10:44 AM
I'd like to move AJ and Tinsley and keep Saras in a backup role.

My reasons have already been given by other people.

JayRedd
05-23-2006, 02:06 PM
Since everybody is talking about the high trade value of AJ. How high could it be? Could it be the wishfull thinking? Imagine yourself a buy-side manager and have following thoughts: "The guy was playing great for last 4 months as a starter. Will I start him on my team? Hell, no. Well, he is not as good as second PG and is already 32 years. ****. What should I pay for him?"

Bingo...I can't imagine a GM in his right mind (maybe Isiah) that would give up much of anything for AJ in a one for one deal. Definetely not a 1st Round pick or the equivalent of a starter or even a 6th man type guy.

The value here I see is that we can use AJ (and his very low contract) as a throw in with Jax or Tinsley to bring back some quality, young talent.