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Will Galen
07-25-2006, 02:55 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060725/SPORTS04/607250393/1088

July 25, 2006

Pacers clarify situation at point guard position
Dealing Johnson makes Tinsley the clear starter
By Mike Wells

mike.wells@indystar.com

Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh wasn't kidding two weeks ago when he said the team had to figure out its point guard situation.

The Pacers took a step in resolving it Monday when they finalized a trade to send point guard Anthony Johnson to the Dallas Mavericks for point guard Darrell Armstrong, swingman Rawle Marshall and forward Josh Powell.

"We had to do something with our point guard position," Walsh said. "There just wasn't enough minutes to go around for everybody."

Armstrong, 38, will be expected to help provide leadership in a locker room that had chemistry problems last season. He signed a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum of about $1.2 million before the trade. Marshall, who attended Ball State his freshman year, and Powell, don't have guaranteed contracts.

"I got a message from (former NBA coach) Chuck Daly, and he said, 'Darrell Armstrong is a great pickup, a terrific player with a huge heart and the best locker room guy I ever had,' " Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "Those are strong words from a guy that knows the game. That's good enough for me."

Many in the organization think Jamaal Tinsley gives the Pacers the best chance of winning, but Johnson showed the past two seasons he can be effective as a starter. Johnson, who began last season as the third point guard, started 53 games, averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 assists in that role. He averaged 20.0 points and 5.2 assists against New Jersey in the playoffs.

There was concern Johnson wouldn't accept coming off the bench behind Tinsley next season. Johnson, who said the team's "culture has to change" at the end of last season, did not return a phone message Monday.

"There was a lot of interest in Anthony because he played well last year," Walsh said.

"We were looking for a financial deal and one that wouldn't put us in the position of there being a battle for the starting job."

The trade of Johnson means the Pacers are again hoping that Tinsley can stay healthy. Tinsley, a crafty ball handler, has missed 112 of 246 games the past three seasons because of various injuries.

As the roster stands now, Armstrong would play behind Tinsley and Sarunas Jasikevicius, who struggled in the second half of last season. The Pacers also have point guard Orien Greene. James White and Marquis Daniels can play the position.

"We've always had a lot of confidence in Jamaal's ability as a player," Carlisle said. "We feel like we have coverage at that position if we run into injuries there. The summer isn't over yet; we could still do more things."



Vying for minutes

The Pacers swapped backup point guards, sending Anthony Johnson to Dallas for Darrell Armstrong. Jamaal Tinsley is the starter, but there will be competition behind him:

Jamaal Tinsley
• 2005-06: 9.3 points, 5.0 assists
• Comment: The Pacers hope Tinsley finally stays healthy. Tinsley has played in just 134 of a possible 246 regular-season games the past three seasons.

Sarunas Jasikevicius
• 2005-06: 7.3 points, 3.0 assists
• Comment: There's a possibility Jasikevicius, whom team president Larry Bird pursued in Europe, could be the next point guard traded. Jasikevicius ended last season as the third point guard.

Darrell Armstrong
• 2005-06: 2.1 points, 1.4 assists
• Comment: Armstrong likely will get limited playing time as the third point guard this season. He's expected to provide veteran leadership in the locker room.

Orien Greene
• 2005-06: 3.2 points, 1.6 assists
• Comment: Greene is the wild card. He was squeezed out in Boston because of a logjam, and could be the odd man out here, too.

Marquis Daniels
• 2005-06: 10.2 points, 2.8 assists
• Comment: The Pacers say Daniels, acquired from the Mavs, is effective at both guard spots and small forward. He could be Tinsley's backup if Jasikevicius is traded.

James White
• *2005-06: 16.3 points, 2.0 assists
• Comment: White can play three positions. It's unlikely White will get much playing time at point guard as a rookie.
*University of Cincinnati

-- Mike Wells

Hicks
07-25-2006, 03:17 AM
I'd be shocked if we traded Sarunas Jasikevicius after the AJ trade.

rexnom
07-25-2006, 03:18 AM
I'd be shocked if we traded Sarunas Jasikevicius after the AJ trade.
Same. I think that's good too. I think a lot of people have given up on him way too early.

Will Galen
07-25-2006, 03:30 AM
I'm with you guys but I've read twice that Saras has been shopped.

jjbjjbjjb
07-25-2006, 03:33 AM
I'm with you guys but I've read twice that Saras has been shopped.

For the right price, anyone on the roster could be had. And you don't know what the going price is if you don't ask.

BoomBaby31
07-25-2006, 03:37 AM
Same. I think that's good too. I think a lot of people have given up on him way too early.

Me too... I think he can be a good ball player, just give him another year or two.

The Tinsley situation bugs me, he is injury prone and we know it. Tinsley is like a broken Ipod that only turns on 35% of the time. You enjoy it when it's on but, it is never on when you need it be and feels like it's broke more then it works. It sounds to me we could of got something decent for AJ so why didn't we? We can't bank on Tinsley being healthy, the pg position is the most vital position in the offense and we know his is going to be injured. Tinsley isn't going to miracolously be healthy after 3 years of injuries.

NorCal_Pacerfan
07-25-2006, 04:24 AM
Tinsley "has missed 112 of 246 games the past three seasons because of various injuries."

How many did he miss last year alone?

How many will he miss this season? I'm going to say at least 30 games.

Will Galen
07-25-2006, 05:05 AM
How many will he miss this season? I'm going to say at least 30 games.

Hopefully 82!

NorCal_Pacerfan
07-25-2006, 05:24 AM
Hopefully 82!

I hope you're right! (He can play as many as he wants - for another team!)

blanket
07-25-2006, 09:41 AM
"There was a lot of interest in Anthony because he played well last year," Walsh said.

"We were looking for a financial deal and one that wouldn't put us in the position of there being a battle for the starting job.

Then why couldn't we have gotten more for him than 2 unproven players and a FA we could've signed for the vet minimum anyway? We should've at least been able to get a draft pick out of any AJ trade, and still maintained that financial flexibility.

DisplacedKnick
07-25-2006, 09:59 AM
The AJ trade makes zero sense to me. Unless there's something Indy sees in the two (or one of) the second-year players. You traded a really solid backup 2 (who stepped up huge in the playoffs) for a guy who IMO is very close to done - at least judging from his stats.

The only reason I can see the brain trust doing this is to force Carlisle to play Saras. And management trading away a player that a coach likes to force him to play someone he doesn't like is generally a bad move.

The only other reason is to save money next summer since AJ had another year on his deal - but it was only $2.6 million - cheap for what you got.

I simply don't get this one.

rexnom
07-25-2006, 11:12 AM
The AJ trade makes zero sense to me. Unless there's something Indy sees in the two (or one of) the second-year players. You traded a really solid backup 2 (who stepped up huge in the playoffs) for a guy who IMO is very close to done - at least judging from his stats.

The only reason I can see the brain trust doing this is to force Carlisle to play Saras. And management trading away a player that a coach likes to force him to play someone he doesn't like is generally a bad move.

The only other reason is to save money next summer since AJ had another year on his deal - but it was only $2.6 million - cheap for what you got.

I simply don't get this one.
I get why we did it, I'm just a wee bit upset we didn't even get a second-round pick out of it, especially considering we traded two future ones away. We should have done a James Jones-like deal for Freddie too IMO and just let that TE expire for cap room while still getting a second-rounder. The offer was on the table for Philly and John Salmons, I'm sure it would have been there for us.