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View Full Version : Maceo Baston to the Pacers?



3ballinhoop
07-28-2006, 10:12 AM
According to Israeli rumours, the Pacers may be interested in Maceo Baston from Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Here's a scouting report from one year ago:

http://draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?mod=print&a=173
Jonathan Givony

"Over the past few seasons, Baston has developed into one of the most efficient post players in Europe. There is probably no other player at this position that can make use of his team's Point Guard like Baston. He is a high percentage player, who knows his role and embraces it. He dominates the post with a large amount of rebounds and dunks every single game, usually of the spectacular type. His footspeed is outstanding and its not rare at all for him to be the first player down the floor, which makes him an outstanding transition player. 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3,5 steals per game in this tournament demonstrates exactly what he meant to his team in Moscow. On the defensive end he is very aggressive, blocking shots, going after every ball and using his quickness to anticipate and come up with many steals. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that he was the best post player at this Final Four, considering his impact on both ends of the floor.

Baston is a one of a kind player in Europe because of his incredible athleticism and the way he plays the game on both ends of the court. His 7 steals in 52 minutes of action here should tell you all you need to do about his quickness, anticipation skills and tenacity. 14/18 from the field should tell you more than enough about his efficiency and how good he is at the very specific role Maccabi assigns him every game. His teammates Jasikevicius and Parker know that they can just throw up a lob in the general direction of the rim and Baston will go up and get it, usually finishing strong with a thunderous alley-oop that has made him a fan favorite in Tel Aviv over the past two seasons. He had a number of these over the past weekend.

Unlike many big men in Europe, Baston does not have infinite range on his jumper or outstanding ball-handling skills. This is not something Maccabi needs him to do, though, as everyone else on their team can shoot and handle like no other. Therefore, Baston can restrict his powerful play to the post while using his tremendous foot work to post up players and finish strong, or run the floor like a deer and be the one who finishes the play in the most emphatic fashion.

In the past, Baston was the type of player whose points came strictly off offensive rebounds, alley-oops, or at most, catching the ball in the post, turning around and dunking. Surprisingly enough, though, he has begun to diversify his offense over the past two seasons with Maccabi, becoming a player that can score in other ways beyond just using his incredible athletic ability.

Besides showing nice footwork and a decent post up game, he started taking more mid-range shots this past season in Tel Aviv and he actually hits them at a decent clip. As noted, though, this is not his role for Maccabi so he does not force the issue here. But if you give him the open 14-16 footer, he will usually knock it down, which is downright incredible for those who remember the type of player he was coming out of Michigan, or even while playing for the Raptors two years ago. No one is going to confuse him with Tim Duncan in terms of his skill-level, but it's impossible to ignore the leap in ability he has made over the past few years, showing that you CAN teach a old dog new tricks, and that upside isn't restricted to players under the age of 25. On top of that, he is a team player who displays a wonderful attitude both on and off the court. Defensively, he does a good job blocking shots, coming up with steals and helping on rotations, but could stand to improve his man to man defense and staying out of foul trouble.

Regarding the NBA, Baston is an unrestricted free agent and will be free to sign with the team of his choice this upcoming summer. He has made it very clear that he enjoys playing for Maccabi, but it might be hard to turn down an attractive offer from the NBA an return to his home country. Rumor has it that there are already some offers on the table from NBA teams, and not of the summer league or non-guaranteed contract variety. With his size, athleticism, work ethic and the way he approaches the game, there is certainly a spot for him on someone's roster as an off the bench role player who changes the game for a few minutes at a time with the energy he brings to the floor. He'll be a fan favorite for sure."

I believe that he is a clearly better player now than he was while playing with the Raptors & should be able to add something positive to the Pacers frontcourt. I honestly don't know why he failed in Toronto, but as a players success always depends vastly on the situation he is put in, I advocate not writing him off. Just look at Anthony Parker, who so many americans said is pure rubbish, but who know will be a starter, leader and fan favourite in Toronto!

There are discussions about Nicola Vujcic, one of the worlds best passing big men, joining an NBA team as well, so if this really happens, MTA are paying a high price for beating NBA representation with american rules, 3 point line & on american soil. Vujcic, as a finesse center, doesn't really fit the NBA style of play, which makes his move more unlikely. Baston on the othe hand, as a pure power player, fits perfectly, so i guess it all comes down to how much money NBA GM's are willing to give him.

3ballinhoop

J_2_Da_IzzO
07-28-2006, 10:15 AM
No Thanks

Trader Joe
07-28-2006, 10:15 AM
Didn't we try something like this before and it didn't work?

Coop
07-28-2006, 10:22 AM
Ah..how quick people judge others. I guess since he's from Maccabi it would be a bad decision huh? Wrong.

I think this would be a good move if we could pick him up for cheap. An athletic big man that is aggressive and doesn't need the ball to be effective? Sounds exactly like what we could use off the bench right now.

Trader Joe
07-28-2006, 10:24 AM
Ah..how quick people judge others. I guess since he's from Maccabi it would be a bad decision huh? Wrong.

I think this would be a good move if we could pick him up for cheap. An athletic big man that is aggressive and doesn't need the ball to be effective? Sounds exactly like what we could use off the bench right now.

And Sarunas SOUNDED like the exact thing we needed last year. Good leader, great passer, lights out shooter but thats the key word he sounded like the all these things the only thing that he actually ended up being any good at was passing.

sportsmusicxboxpacer
07-28-2006, 10:24 AM
i say do it we lack big man in middle

Coop
07-28-2006, 10:28 AM
And Sarunas SOUNDED like the exact thing we needed last year. Good leader, great passer, lights out shooter but thats the key word he sounded like the all these things the only thing that he actually ended up being any good at was passing.

Sarunas and Baston don't sound ANYTHING alike. They are completely different players that have completely different roles. The only thing they have in common is that they both played for Maccabi Tel Aviv. We knew Sarunas needed the ball in his hands to be effective. This Baston guy sounds like a more athletic Jeff Foster with the ability to score in the post. Sounds like an ideal backup to JO.

Mourning
07-28-2006, 10:30 AM
. Just look at Anthony Parker, who so many americans said is pure rubbish, but who know will be a starter, leader and fan favourite in Toronto!

I'm all for giving someone an honest chance, but all things aside aren't you jumping the gun a little in your statement above?

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

D-BONE
07-28-2006, 10:30 AM
I'd consider it if the price is right. He could be a good hustle, energy guy off the bench.

However, I don't know how much opportunity he'd really get b/c our froncourt is pretty crowded at the 4. Doesn't look like a typical 3 and might be undersized to fit the more traditional 5 if that's a type of back-up we're still seeking.

If we do run more he could definitely fit in though.

DeS
07-28-2006, 10:35 AM
And Sarunas SOUNDED like the exact thing we needed last year. Good leader, great passer, lights out shooter but thats the key word he sounded like the all these things the only thing that he actually ended up being any good at was passing.
Kenny Anderson came last year into my hometeam (Kauno Zalgiris) and sucked more than our 2nd PG (at the begining shooting approximately 17% FG). He looked so bad that Zalgirs at times was forced to play 19 year 3rd stringer in Euroleague. I say - there is no point to get NBA PG as they suck, especially former Indiana players :sarcasm:

Coop
07-28-2006, 10:41 AM
Kenny Anderson came last year into my hometeam (Kauno Zalgiris) and sucked more than our 2nd PG (at the begining shooting approximately 17% FG). He looked so bad that Zalgirs at times was forced to play 19 year 3rd stringer in Euroleague. I say - there is no point to get NBA PG as they suck, especially former Indiana players :sarcasm:



I can't wait until the US starts dominating teams again so all these arrogant foreigners can eat their words.

Mushmouth
07-28-2006, 10:42 AM
We need to keep Bird stateside.

D23
07-28-2006, 10:46 AM
lol, wow Mush! I'd forgotten all about that pic in your avatar. I bet that guy is sorry he EVER messed with Double-D :laugh:

3ballinhoop
07-28-2006, 10:47 AM
I'm all for giving someone an honest chance, but all things aside aren't you jumping the gun a little in your statement above?

You are just interpreting it wrong, dear fellow writer from the country of the world championship 1/8-finalists :). I am just saying that you shouldn't rule out a player if you haven't even seen him play for years. In no way would I compare Baston to Parker.
My point is very clear if you consider all the people even on this board who said that Parker sucks and wouldn't have wanted him, and who will now be fed instant action from Canada!

Please refrain from starting another Saras debate in this thread, in which the people who dislike him once again will say that he sucks, and the other side will tell you the exact opposite, of course while having way, way, way better arguments, but let's leave that here.

If you need to compare two former Maccabi players, you'll have to take Sarunas and Parker in terms of leadership and energy, Baston wasn't a leader in MTA, nor would he be at the Pacers. He'd just be a working, very athletic big man, and I think that is something Indiana could benefit from right now!

3ballinhoop

DeS
07-28-2006, 10:48 AM
I can't wait until the US starts dominating teams again so all these arrogant foreigners can eat their words.
It all was just a sarcasm (as indicated by a sarcasm smiley) - You can't judge the about the player only because he's from the same league and/or team.

Slick Pinkham
07-28-2006, 10:50 AM
Face it the list of 6'10" or over backup big men is pretty short on talent and I'd like to see a great argument why Baston would be expected to contribute less than others like Othella Harrington, Coppenrath, or Edwards for that matter, who sat in favor of Britton Johnson et. al efter the brawl.

Assuming there will be more moves with more players shipped out than coming back, it's hard to find fault with giving a guy a small contract to fight for 3rd string minutes, if he accepts that challenge.

Jose Slaughter
07-28-2006, 11:08 AM
Someone wake up Skaut!

Trader Joe
07-28-2006, 11:22 AM
Kenny Anderson came last year into my hometeam (Kauno Zalgiris) and sucked more than our 2nd PG (at the begining shooting approximately 17% FG). He looked so bad that Zalgirs at times was forced to play 19 year 3rd stringer in Euroleague. I say - there is no point to get NBA PG as they suck, especially former Indiana players :sarcasm:

Isn't Kenny Anderson like 40? Listen Sarunas coming to the US is the equilavent of us sending Lebron to Europe. He was supposed to be the greatest player in Europe remember? And he sucked from basically January on. So what is some guy most people have never even heard of going to be like over here? I don't even wanna find out...

Young
07-28-2006, 11:28 AM
I'll take him as long as he is fairly cheap.

There are not a lot of good big men out there so we he is not a bad opition, IMO.

Gamble
07-28-2006, 11:35 AM
I have no problem taking a risk and would have to agree with pacertom
on this one. If he develops people would say your genius if he doesn't
no one will remember the risk on a 3rd string pf.

circlecitysportsfan
07-28-2006, 11:40 AM
Kenny Anderson came last year into my hometeam (Kauno Zalgiris) and sucked more than our 2nd PG (at the begining shooting approximately 17% FG). He looked so bad that Zalgirs at times was forced to play 19 year 3rd stringer in Euroleague. I say - there is no point to get NBA PG as they suck, especially former Indiana players :sarcasm:



Kenny Anderson in his prime was a 20 point and 10 assist per game guy. Saras could NEVER do that in the NBA. My guess is that Kenny was just picking up another pay check and could care less.

DeS
07-28-2006, 11:44 AM
Isn't Kenny Anderson like 40? Listen Sarunas coming to the US is the equilavent of us sending Lebron to Europe. He was supposed to be the greatest player in Europe remember? And he sucked from basically January on. So what is some guy most people have never even heard of going to be like over here? I don't even wanna find out...
There are many other examples, but let me just say that Your logic is flawed. Otherwise there would be no succesful european players in the league (especially NBA stars (have you heard anything about Kirilenko or Dirk while they were playing in europe?)).

Anthem
07-28-2006, 11:45 AM
What's Baston expected to command in salary?

Anthem
07-28-2006, 11:47 AM
There are many other examples, but let me just say that Your logic is flawed. Otherwise there would be no succesful european players in the league (especially NBA stars).
Seemed reasonable to me. You're complaining because an NBA point guard didn't play well in Europe. You didn't mention that he was playing in Europe because no team in America would sign him as a third-stringer. What did you expect him to do in Europe?

Saras, on the other hand, was supposedly a championship-quality point guard. And he may be, one day. But he didn't show it this year.

rexnom
07-28-2006, 11:51 AM
Isn't it a season too early to call Sarunas a bust? That's all I have to say. I think Baston is worth taking a look at. Like pacertom said, how many other decent big men are out there?

DeS
07-28-2006, 12:04 PM
Seemed reasonable to me. You're complaining because an NBA point guard didn't play well in Europe. You didn't mention that he was playing in Europe because no team in America would sign him as a third-stringer. What did you expect him to do in Europe?

Saras, on the other hand, was supposedly a championship-quality point guard. And he may be, one day. But he didn't show it this year.
I agree. It was just a hyperbolized sarcasm (though backed by the true facts) to say that one cannot jugde about the player by Saras example. Nothing more.
Of course Anderson underperforming had some reasons. And to those who are trying to speculate about the reasons, I can reply with Anderson words, who said that simply it was very hard to adopt to the european playing style and that several months was just not enough. I have no disrespect to Andreson at all (despite he didn't help my hometeam).

Hicks
07-28-2006, 12:19 PM
If he's relatively cheap, I'd take a chance on him.

indyman37
07-28-2006, 12:28 PM
His teammates Jasikevicius and Parker know that they can just throw up a lob in the general direction of the rim and Baston will go up and get it, usually finishing strong with a thunderous alley-oop that has made him a fan favorite in Tel Aviv over the past two seasons.

Definitely would be more fun to watch the games. Sign him cheap!

Jay Ohh
07-28-2006, 12:33 PM
Pass.

We have enough overrated Europeans on this team who waste salary.

Anthem
07-28-2006, 12:36 PM
Question for our European brethren... how much are we talking here? Half the MLE?

Since86
07-28-2006, 12:43 PM
Israeli sites are reporting Baston is heading to Indy, including confirmation from Maccabi Tel Aviv. The reoprt claims an offer of 3 million dollar for 2 years.
http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22924

Anthem
07-28-2006, 12:48 PM
I hate the idea of a 2-year contract. Sign him for three, so we get Bird rights!

PacerMan
07-28-2006, 12:50 PM
Didn't we try something like this before and it didn't work?


Ergo' it could NEVER work?

Jon Theodore
07-28-2006, 01:24 PM
sign him, don't have much to lose by doing so. He will certainly be rather cheap, we need big bodies, sarunas will be happier.

CableKC
07-28-2006, 01:27 PM
When it comes to having players like Foster and JONeal......the more depth we have at the PF/C positions....the better.

It doesn't look like he's gonna be outrageously expensive....probably a 2-3 mil contract for a couple of years....that won't kill us. If he is getting more....then I would be concerned.....but it seems unlikely that Management would overpay considering the likely financial mess that we will be dealing with the Hawks.

For a 5th Big Man off the bench at a cost of abuot 2-3mil that isn't too bad considering other likely options that we have at the PF/C FA market...which isn't that great. I would much rather take a chance on a player like Baston for that amount of money then give the same amount to some other PF stiff that has no potential upside.

I am more curious about is how the initial conversation that Baston must have had with Sarunas the second that he even considered playing for Indy.

CableKC
07-28-2006, 01:36 PM
EDIT : Interesting note....he was drafted a couple of years ago by Chicago in the 2nd round.....eventually signed for 1/2 a season with Toronto...then signed with some Euro team in Spain...eventually ending up in Maccabi Tel Aviv.

I'm beginning to wonder about whether 2-3 mil would be too much for him considering his track record. Hopefully he won't be too expensive.

Hicks
07-28-2006, 01:45 PM
Apparently we are signing him, see here:

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22924