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View Full Version : Four Big Questions Surround JO's Future w/Pacers



NuffSaid
06-09-2008, 03:17 PM
Four big questions seem to be the underlying focus of the "JO to Cavs Trade Proposal (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=39469&page=6)" thread. So, I've linked this threat to that one just so readers can get the full gist of the primus from which this thread originates.

Seems to me that going into this upcoming season (if not up until draft day) TPTB need to answer four foundamental questions concerning JO's continued tenure with the team:

1. Will he be healthy enough to compete for a large percentage of games (70 or more)?

2. What will be his role coming into next season?

3. Is the risk of retaining him worth the $44M dollar price tag ($23M if you trade him after next season)?

4. How soon do TPTB want to return to "contender status" within the Central Division let alone the Eastern Conference and beyond?

Here's my take on each of the above:

1) No one has the answer to this question. All TPTB can do is instruct the player on those things they believe he needs to work on to get better and hope the player adheres to their instruction. It's still early in the off-season to make any kind of judgement call on how well JO is progressing in his off-season workouts, but by all accounts so far his rehab seems to be going better than expected. Now that JO has indicated his intensions not to opt out of his contract, the best thing TPTB can do is monitor his progress and keep the fans abreast of same.
2) This is an intriguing question but believe it or not it's actually been answered by JO himself. It's apparent that in order for him to be successful next season he has to remain injury-free. That's a given. But there's another component to his short-term success that few have discussed and most have ignored and that is he has to be willing to accept a "partnership" role within the offense vice being placed "front-and-center" of the offense. JO has mentioned countless times that he's okay with not being the focus of the offense. However, many of us still remember that private meeting he had w/RC on the heels of that lose against the Celtics 2-yrs ago where he all but demanded the ball. In JOB's Guard oriented offense, I think JO had a glimps of where he really fits in, such as being a shot-blocker, a passer out of the post and a decent mid-range scorer. I'd like to see him get to the rim more and I'm sure that will come with the improve stability of his knee. Time will tell just how much of his former self he can regain.
3) This is the sticking point for most fans. For those with the view point that he hasn't earned his keep, I'd urge you to look at his stats of the last fives years since signing his 7-yr, $126.5M contract ('03-04) and tell me what you see. For me, I see only one year during this timeframe where JO didn't avg. at least 19 ppg (19.5 over the last 5 yrs; 20.97 if you exclude last season's avg of 13.6 ppg). And considering that he has failed to reach 19 ppg only twice during his entire tenure with the Pacers, it's hard to argue that he hasn't earned his keep to some extent even after factoring in all the games he's been out due to injury or suspensions (brawl year, '04-05). Still, I see everyone's point when they argue that $126M for a player who isn't a "takeover the game" type wasn't worth it. Two things you have to remember, however: a) JO was very young when he signed that contract; and b) his potential was clearly evident coming off two years where he was the team's leading shot blocker (franchise best 200+ ('01-02), was voted "Most Improved Player" and was voted to his first All-Star team ('02-03). How could you not lock the guy up for the long haul? I'm not saying he was worth a max contract - only the MJ's and Kobe's of the world are worth that much and even with those guys you're still taking one huge risk because you never know how things will turn out - but I believe that if Walsh wanted to keep him , thereby keeping such talent off the open market, he had to make JO an offer he just couldn't refuse and a max contract was it!
4) To answer this last question, TPTB need only decide which financial angle they wish to pursue. The "short-term cost savings" is to throw JO away and take whatever they can get in short-term contracts and draft picks. Of course, this will mean starting over as many have suggested and not being in the enviable position to contend for a title for quite some time. My view is you're in no better position under this notion than you are currently. Whether it's one huge contract for 2-yrs or several for one year, you're still spending $44M. You're just forcing the "rebuilding process" a year or two sooner, but you're still searching for the right pieces either way it goes. Why not include JO among the core pieces since you know the potential is still there and build around that core? Otherwise, you're forced to find that dominate post player either through the draft where you'll have to wait to see how his development turns out or you get that player through FA which may not cost you another long-term contract but you're very likely to have to continue tweaking your roster every 2-3 yrs. What was that word many of you like to throw out there...mediocrity? Sometimes buying a championship works ofwhich this year the Celtics may have just demonstrated how best to go about doing it. But most times you end up with a bust. (See the 4-HOFer Lakers team for details)I understand where most of you are coming from. As a Pacers fan it's hard to see them come so close and yet be so far away from the big prize. I remain in the camp that says "retool" vice "rebuild". I'd rather they take their shot within two years instead of five or more and be stuck in...what's that word again?...mediocrity...until my grandchildren are old enough to play ball. (And mind you, they're 1, 3 and 4 now.)

Let the bebate begin anew...

croz24
06-09-2008, 03:50 PM
not sure how we can compete in 5 years let alone 2 with the way the team is currently assembled. the pacers need to rebuild, which means ridding ourselves of jo, tinsley, foster, or basically anybody on our roster who can help us gain long-term assets. the pacers have been "mediocre" to bad for the better part of 30 years. continuing to draft between 10-25 will get us nowhere.

DGPR
06-09-2008, 03:57 PM
JO doesn't have a very long future with us regardless. Hopefully if we can't get rid of him this year then we can get some young guys and draft picks for him next year for his expiring contract.

Taterhead
06-09-2008, 04:08 PM
I agree with everything you said. The problem with the fans perception of him is that these nagging injuries have taken 4 of his best years away. So they only faintly remember the 24 year old 7 footer who was a game changer at the defensive end, and had a developing offensive game. At the time they signed this deal there was noone who was against it. JO has been 3rd in the MVP voting before, so it's hard to say it was a huge mistake to give him this money.

Noone can project injury problems, and before this deal he had none. The guy played 8 years in the NBA with no injury problems, now he has some, and people label him injury prone. It doesn't make sense to me. I think JO has had some bad luck regarding his health over the last few years. But that doesn't make him a lost cause that I would give away for anything half way descent. If he had torn up both his knees I would understand, but he has had shoulder and muniscus injuries that will not affect his career in the long run.

JO can be a huge part of this turnaround if he can get healthy, which he can do. Maybe he has to slim down a little, play 30 minutes a night instead of 35-40 and take a reduced offensive role to do so. But we won't get anything in a trade that will help us win games more than he will if he can get healthy.

I view him as a low risk at this point. This is a turning point for us. Last year the offers we got were garbage because he had 60+ million coming to him. This year the offers will get a little better since he's only due 44.5 million. And next year the offers wil get substationally better because he'll be a viewed as a "one year see what happens" type of addition. Or, if he gets healthy and has a good year next year he could be viewed as a "final piece to make a serious run" to any team in contention.

We'll go from getting someone like Hinrich or VC to getting a young budding superstar and a couple descent role players and draft picks, IMO.

Rajah Brown
06-09-2008, 04:57 PM
Considering the two teams in the NBA Finals right now don't have
dominant post players, I'm not so sure that's the priority concern
at this point.

Hicks
06-09-2008, 05:15 PM
I think the keys are having good to great defenders at all 5 starting positions, and at least 2 of your backups. To go with that, you need at least two scorers and two shooters in your starting 5 (one player can be both, like Paul Pierce, I view a scorer as someone who can score 1-on-1, be it from the outside, midrange, or low post).

Finally, if you can out-rebound your opponent the majority of the time, I think you have what you need to give yourself a great shot at competing for a title.

What do we have right now?

Shooters? Well, we do, but none that I feel extremely comfortable with. Dunleavy, Granger, and Murphy all shot well this year. Stephen Graham had great %'s but I don't know how badly they would drop if he played more minutes, so I'll leave him off the list.

So shooters, at least in this offense, we do have with Mike, Danny, and Troy.

Scorers? Now here I think the cupboard is pretty bare. I used to think Marquis could be that guy (at least off the bench), but now i have serious doubts.

Mike and Danny and even Troy a little bit at the end, showed flashes of this, but none of them are what you're looking for here.

We badly need some scorers. Now, if Jermaine O'Neal is here, he's a scorer (albeit not a great one given his FG%), but he's undependable and like I said doesn't have a great FG%, especially for a big man.

If you could trade two of those four guys (Mike, Danny, Troy, JO) for two players who legitimately can score the ball well, I think that would help our offense tremendously.

Also, look for Danny to improve as a scorer next year, just not enough to be one of our big guns in that department. It'll help, but we need to bring in guys who are better at it.

Now, defense (good to great).

I'd say Danny's good, Jeff's good, Diener's bad, Troy fluxuates between bad and average, and Mike is pretty average. That's just not good enough.

The odds of the two players you trade for (two shooters for two scorers) being good or great defenders is pretty slim, so we're really hurting here.

Rebounding looked good early in the year, but as the season went on we ended up (for the season) averaging 2 LESS rebounds per game than our opponents.

Jeff helps you board (8.7), Mike helps you board (5.2), Danny helps you board (6.1). Diener doesn't and JO slumped this year with 6.7 as a big man. He could go back up to 8+, but again even if he does, JO is not dependable.

Varajao remains appealing to me because he'd bring defense and rebounding, which we need more of, but he alone wouldn't solve that.

I'd say if you could turn JO into (like that one rumor suggested) Varajao and Wally, you've gained another shooter to go with a defender/rebounder, which helps and allows you to trade at least two of your shooters for either scorers or defenders.

I don't see any way we can get everything we need in one summer, but if we could at least turn JO and a couple of our shooters into some scorers or defenders, it'd make us look a good deal better next year. Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

Hopefully we draft a player who can defend or score as well. Makes Westbrooke sound more appealing that Augustine, actually. But he's not a PG. Still, he'd be valuable if he can defend well regardless of which position he plays at.

If/when our salary cap dips a bit in a few years, then through free agency you could probably get 1 or 2 decent, not great, players who can score or defend.

If we get some good fortune for a change, I can see things changing substantially within 3 years or less, but it won't be easy.

croz24
06-09-2008, 05:26 PM
i hate to keep asking this, but when was the last time jo's value was on the rise? fact is, his value has only decreased due to "what ifs". 3 yrs ago pacers fans were laughing at the idea of jo for bosh or jo for howard. 2yrs ago it was jo + for kg or jo for picks and nice young players. last year many were laughing at not getting BOTH bynum AND odom. now we're hoping for small contracts and a mid-late first or plan on eating the contract...smaller contracts that expire in a year or two are much easier to use as trade bait than a $20 million contract. and any sort of 1st round pick or young player in return is much better than the nothing you'd receive by keeping jo...

Justin Tyme
06-09-2008, 07:19 PM
Whether it's one huge contract for 2-yrs or several for one year, you're still spending $44M.

Nice thread and post. I am not sure about this part tho.

If you take the 21mil JO is owed next season and split it up into 2 or more contracts and one of them is a major expiring, how are you still spending 44mil?

If you would trade JO with his 21.3mil salary to Portland for

Webster-----3.8
JJ-----------3.1(expiring)
LaFrentz----12.7(expiring)

Total-------19.6 mil

That leaves 1.7 mil savings for the Pacers in 08/09.

Webster 09/10 salary is 5 mil vs JO's 23 mil. That means a savings of 18 mil. So how are you still spending 44mil? I count a savings of 19.7 mil which deducted from 44mil is only 23.3 mil not 44mil.

This trade is not anything I'm advocating, but just used as an example.


You never mentioned JO wanting to play for a contender, or his and Bird's problem relationship. I think these are both big questions that have to be answered.

D-BONE
06-09-2008, 08:44 PM
i hate to keep asking this, but when was the last time jo's value was on the rise? fact is, his value has only decreased due to "what ifs". 3 yrs ago pacers fans were laughing at the idea of jo for bosh or jo for howard. 2yrs ago it was jo + for kg or jo for picks and nice young players. last year many were laughing at not getting BOTH bynum AND odom. now we're hoping for small contracts and a mid-late first or plan on eating the contract...smaller contracts that expire in a year or two are much easier to use as trade bait than a $20 million contract. and any sort of 1st round pick or young player in return is much better than the nothing you'd receive by keeping jo...

I would've gladly taken either Odom or Bynum at that point. I knew there was no way LA would give up that combo for JO. We were just asking too much. Even the rumored combo with Jefferson and filler from NJ last summer (assuming it was not just a rumor) should have been an automatic pull the trigger. When you have a chance to unload an unreliable guy who's likely past his prime performance days for a solid player you do the deal. If that overloads you at a certain position, then you try to move someone else.

Anthem
06-09-2008, 08:56 PM
I would've gladly taken either Odom or Bynum at that point.
Odom was offered but Bynum was never on the table.

BlueNGold
06-09-2008, 09:15 PM
1. Will he be healthy enough to compete for a large percentage of games (70 or more)?

Not likely, unless he can play in a vacuum. Keep in mind he has sat out for extended periods for other injuries in addition to the knee (e.g. ankle, shoulder, etc.). Combine that with the fact that anyone over 30 knows it becomes easier to get injured, the odds are not high he can make 70 games.

2. What will be his role coming into next season?

Good question. I hope he starts because he is one of our best players merely on defense alone. But I hope his role is to rebound and defend and get garbage baskets only.

3. Is the risk of retaining him worth the $44M dollar price tag ($23M if you trade him after next season)?

Not sure if I get this question. I think it's risky to retain anyone with his injury history. 44M compounds it. I think if we do not trade him this summer, the result will be no value or a decent bump in value...by the time he is moved...so I do think it's more likely his value moves up or down from here.

4. How soon do TPTB want to return to "contender staus" within the Central Division let alone the Eastern Conference and beyond?

Tomorrow, but ain't happening. We are not bad enough to get a superstar in the draft and our management is unproven...and that's being kind.

croz24
06-09-2008, 09:46 PM
Nice thread and post. I am not sure about this part tho.

If you take the 21mil JO is owed next season and split it up into 2 or more contracts and one of them is a major expiring, how are you still spending 44mil?

If you would trade JO with his 21.3mil salary to Portland for

Webster-----3.8
JJ-----------3.1(expiring)
LaFrentz----12.7(expiring)

Total-------19.6 mil

That leaves 1.7 mil savings for the Pacers in 08/09.

Webster 09/10 salary is 5 mil vs JO's 23 mil. That means a savings of 18 mil. So how are you still spending 44mil? I count a savings of 19.7 mil which deducted from 44mil is only 23.3 mil not 44mil.

This trade is not anything I'm advocating, but just used as an example.


You never mentioned JO wanting to play for a contender, or his and Bird's problem relationship. I think these are both big questions that have to be answered.

i've put a proposal similar to this on the forum before. i really think jo to portland would work great for both parties involved. portland has the depth, young players, and expiring contracts to offer in return while jo would fit in well with oden and aldridge. portland was craving gasol earlier in the year, so i don't see why they wouldn't take a small 2 year gamble on jo. jo likes portland, the portland fans like jo. even if jo is a "bust" in portland, his contract expires right as oden, aldridge, and roy are up for extentions so it wouldn't hurt them cap wise. if he succeeds, they could obviously resign him for $10-15mil/yr seeing as the blazers still have the richest owner in sports.

D-BONE
06-09-2008, 11:27 PM
Odom was offered but Bynum was never on the table.

Yes. We were reportedly seeking both. If true, that was ludicrous. We should have taken Odom when we had the chance. I'm sure they'd have laughed in our face for simply JO for Bynum straight up.

NuffSaid
06-09-2008, 11:55 PM
You never mentioned JO wanting to play for a contender...

Didn't think it was relevant. I don't think JO has a "no-trade clause". So, mgmt doesn't have to trade him to a contender. They can send him wherever they want as long as the trade meet CBA guidelines. Sending him to a contender at this point is merely a "gentleman's agreement" which JO hopes Bird/Morway uphold.


...or his and Bird's problem relationship. I think these are both big questions that have to be answered.

Again, I didn't think this was as relevant as the other issues. Besides, when it comes down to it JO is a contract employee. As long as both sides are adhering to said contract it doesn't matter whether JO likes his boss or not. Unless he wants to make a specticle of himself and cause legal problems, JO's got to honor his contract either until he is release from it (traded) or it expires, whichever comes first. Nonetheless, his relationship w/Bird is important and was briefly touched upon in both the "JO to Cavs trade..." and the "JO SportingNews Interview" threads.

(BTW, thanks for the thumbs up.)

TheSauceMaster
06-10-2008, 12:18 AM
I think the Hornets and Celtics proved you could turn things around fairly quick. That being said , I'm not sure if the Pacers are willing to do something that extreme. I've heard a lot of words spewed from J.O's mouth. I haven't seen any action to back up those words in the past several seasons. Each injury J.O. gets takes him longer and longer to recover. I'm still not convinced he will be anything different this next season , that he hasn't been in the past 3 or so years.

I really just don't see this team being any better than the past 2 seasons even if J.O. is healthy for most the season. If the Pacers don't make any real moves this off season then I don't think you'll see much improvement.

Justin Tyme
06-10-2008, 07:55 AM
I would've gladly taken either Odom or Bynum at that point. I knew there was no way LA would give up that combo for JO. We were just asking too much. Even the rumored combo with Jefferson and filler from NJ last summer (assuming it was not just a rumor) should have been an automatic pull the trigger. When you have a chance to unload an unreliable guy who's likely past his prime performance days for a solid player you do the deal.


If that overloads you at a certain position, then you try to move someone else.


I was all for this trade last year. My feeling was Jefferson could be moved for other parts, but most posters on various boards couldn't see the trees for the forest. Either all they saw was bringing in another SF when the Pacers had a glut of them, or the same old song and dance, "JO is worth more than that." There was nothing saying the Pacers had to keep Jefferson, and it got value back for JO.

Then JO opened his mouth which I felt killed the deal. JO didn't want to go to the Nets was the bottom line.

QuickRelease
06-10-2008, 09:35 AM
Yes. We were reportedly seeking both. If true, that was ludicrous. We should have taken Odom when we had the chance. I'm sure they'd have laughed in our face for simply JO for Bynum straight up.

The more I've thought about it, I'm glad we didn't do this deal. In the short time JO came back last year, he really anchored our interior defense. I can't stand Lamar Odom. At least JO's defense and shot-blocking are constants, even when his shot isn't falling. When Odom is bad, he's really good at being bad.

Unclebuck
06-10-2008, 10:02 AM
I think the only real question that applies is "when to trade him". I contend that his trade value will start to rise as he gets into the last two years of his contract. Are the Pacers patient enough to wait it out and are most of the fans willing to wait until JO's trade value reached its highest point. I certainly hope so and if that means the franchise is more or less "on hold" for almost two seasons, then so be it, because what the do with JO is the most important decision that will be made.

2Cleva
06-10-2008, 10:23 AM
The issue for Indiana is bigger than JO - it's that they haven't fully embraced an identity as a franchise. A direction and style of playe they will stick to for the long haul, not just a couple of seasons.

In Boston you got the grit. Where team unity and the Celtic way is bigger than any player. Where history is always hanging over the door. Where iconic players are a must. They are successful they have embraced that - from the 60s, the 80s and now. Bad times were when they just were trying anything. No they didn't have the stars but they were trying uptempo, or young guys, or tanking for picks. Got to just going for broke with stars and they are back again. 16 titles.

With LA, you know you are going to get exciting, uptempo basketball. They draft players for style, acquire coaches, make trades - everything is done in a Hollywood manner. 14 titles.

For SA, they have embodied the style and class of their franchise player Davd Robinson and it trickled down to Popovich and Duncan. Now, its impossible to imagine the Spurs not having a roster where character isn't important, where they play a defensive style game and excel in the mental aspect. 4 titles.

Detroit always is at their best with their lunchpale, hardnose mentality that is embraced by their fan base. Where after they knock you down they are more likely to spit on you than help you up. 3 titles.

Whats more, everyone knows what to expect when they go to these franchises - from top on down, regardless of coach or star, they know what it means to play "Celtics/Lakers/Pistons Basketball". To exert that will on a team.

For short period of times, other franchises attached themselves to a style and had success - Knicks under Riley/JVG, Miami under Riley/everyone he threw under a buss, Sac under Adelman, Phoenix under D'Antoni until Kerr got there. For the Pacers to find success they need to match a vision with the ideals of ownership and their fanbase and then make every player, coaching, and management move to support that. If not, it will be forever mediocrity. For a while, with Reggie in his prime the Pacers had it but that style has gone far to the wayside.

So back to JO - Indiana needs to come to a hard line of figuring what style of play and what direction they want their franchise to be - not in 1 or 2 years, but in 10 years and then move JO for pieces that gets them in that direction.

count55
06-10-2008, 10:31 AM
I think the only real question that applies is "when to trade him". I contend that his trade value will start to rise as he gets into the last two years of his contract. Are the Pacers patient enough to wait it out and are most of the fans willing to wait until JO's trade value reached its highest point. I certainly hope so and if that means the franchise is more or less "on hold" for almost two seasons, then so be it, because what the do with JO is the most important decision that will be made.

It will only rise if he plays. If he doesn't play, then essentially he'll be a bigger Theo Ratliff, but Ratliff had to be dealt with valuable assets (Jefferson, two first round picks, Gomes & Green) to get Garnett.

The question is "What are we going to turn that expiring contract into?"

It's highly unlikely that we'll be in a position to make a mega-turn-it-all-around deal like Boston made. What assets do we have to pair with JO to bring back major talent? Outside of Danny (good value) and Junior (fair value), all of our players outside of JO have huge question marks. They either have negative value due to contracts & issues (Tinsley, Murphy), or they're young and unproven, but have lost just enough of that "young guy" lustre to have minimal value (Williams, Diogu). What star or superstar is going to want to come back here to a team that likely nobody to pair with him?

Last summer, I was solidly in the Odom & Bynum both for JO. I expected JO to come back and be a 20-10-3 guy and felt, as buck says here:


what the(y) do with JO is the most important decision that will be made

I believed the team had plenty of time to make a bad trade, so when we held out all summer for a favorable one, I was fine with it. However, I knew it was a gamble due to his injury history, and unfortunately, the worst case scenario played out.

Many have been advancing the theory that JO's value would rise as he got closer to the end of his contract. This is consistent with holding a stock when it is down on the assumption that it will rebound and either mitigate your loss or turn an actual profit.

But what if this is more like a plane that's lost it's engine than a stock? There's a very real possibility that JO's value is on a steep decline that will terminate with a smoking hole in the ground 100 yards short of the runway. If this is the case, isn't it wiser to grab the parachute and jump sooner rather than later?

Now, I'm not saying that we do a panic move like the JO & 11 for expirings only that was debunked earlier. However, I believe we should be prepared to move JO this summer if we can find a deal to our liking. I told you what my price was last year. This year, it's dropped to a decent size expiring, one or two solid to good young prospects, a solid vet, and maybe a pick. I think the Chicago rumors (speculation, if you prefer) are solidly in my price range. (Not pretending I have any say in the matter, just using this phrasing to demonstrate what I, personally, would be satisfied with at this point for JO.)

Again, I do not believe that JO's value will automatically rise as his contract gets shorter. I think he will have to play, relatively injury free and effectively, for it to increase. A repeat of this past year will cause it to nearly evaporate.

Tom White
06-10-2008, 10:33 AM
JO can be a huge part of this turnaround if he can get healthy, which he can do.

The Pacers have already invested years in waiting for him to get healthy. How much longer do you want to wait?


Or, if he gets healthy and has a good year next year he could be viewed as a "final piece to make a serious run" to any team in contention.

Okay, now which is it? Are we hoping he gets healthy in orderr to play him, or to trade him?


We'll go from getting someone like Hinrich or VC to getting a young budding superstar and a couple descent role players and draft picks, IMO.

Here is the part that confuses me when people talk about potential trades getting better. What team, that would be just one piece away from contending, is going to gut their team by putting together enough contracts of QUALITY players that the Pacers would be interested in, in order to get O'Neal?

Remember, they would be getting him to make a title run, so they won't want to give up core players, but the salaries have to match. Also remember that the Pacers (like any team) can only have so many players on their roster.

So, how does that work? Got any examples of teams that can put together salaries/players to match that would not tear apart what they are trying to build. (Remember, as well, the Pacers have to be interested in the players)

count55
06-10-2008, 10:44 AM
So, how does that work? Got any examples of teams that can put together salaries/players to match that would not tear apart what they are trying to build. (Remember, as well, the Pacers have to be interested in the players)

Chicago, because of their good fortune in the draft lottery, is the only one that leaps immediately to mind. They've got contracts (or potential contracts) with Hinrich and Gordon on players we'd probably like, a contract on a guy we wouldn't be wild about (Hughes), an expiring in Gooden, a young guy (that may be Ike, part deux) in Thomas, so they could package something without gutting their team...if if they thought JO was worth the risk.

Other than that, putting together the $17.2mm or so they'd need to meet the 125% + $100k provision is going to be tough for most teams.

Tom White
06-10-2008, 11:04 AM
Sending him to a contender at this point is merely a "gentleman's agreement" which JO hopes Bird/Morway uphold.


You mean sort of like how Bird said he wasn't going to fire Isiah?

naptownmenace
06-10-2008, 11:17 AM
Nice thread and post. I am not sure about this part tho.

If you take the 21mil JO is owed next season and split it up into 2 or more contracts and one of them is a major expiring, how are you still spending 44mil?

If you would trade JO with his 21.3mil salary to Portland for

Webster-----3.8
JJ-----------3.1(expiring)
LaFrentz----12.7(expiring)

Total-------19.6 mil

That leaves 1.7 mil savings for the Pacers in 08/09.

Webster 09/10 salary is 5 mil vs JO's 23 mil. That means a savings of 18 mil. So how are you still spending 44mil? I count a savings of 19.7 mil which deducted from 44mil is only 23.3 mil not 44mil.

This trade is not anything I'm advocating, but just used as an example.


You never mentioned JO wanting to play for a contender, or his and Bird's problem relationship. I think these are both big questions that have to be answered.

That would be an awesome trade for the Pacers. It doesn't make any sense for Portland though (not that you said it did). If that was a possibility you'd be absolutely right.

Naptown_Seth
06-10-2008, 12:49 PM
WARNING - RANT ON


However, many of us still remember that private meeting he had w/RC on the heels of that lose against the Celtics 2-yrs ago where he all but demanded the ball.
100% wrong, not even close. Sorry for the tone but this has been disproven strongly many times over and just won't die as a rumor.

JO TOOK NO MORE FGA after the "demand" than he was before the demand. What I think he ranted about was the horrid "running" that the team stunk at and how he was being asked to play the HIGH POST instead of the low block. If it was about "give me the ball" then he would have touched it more, and he didn't. Heck, pre-rarnt the ball touched him every play, just in a spot on the floor that emphasized his weak points.

The result was that his FTA were WAY down (about 50% IIRC) and his FG% was suffering. People talk about how terrible he is about fades and jumpers, but the "running game" with him in the high post demanded that this be his primary shot.

He was 100% right to say "look, I'm better in the low post and this team doesn't have guys that are good at running anyway, this is a big fubar".

So after that point his FTA jumped back up as did his points per shot (obviously), but his FGA did not. You're back to getting free points and slowing down the aggressiveness of the other team's frontline due to foul concerns.


JO has faults, but being displeased with the crap forced down Rick's throat by Bird was not one of them. That roster had no business trying to run. Dunleavy is 3 times the open court guy that Jackson is, and I like Jack.

Also Tinsley as a full court guy is ridiculously out of whack. It's never been true. Tins is an amazing half court passer and dribble penetration guy, not a 3 on 2 to dunk guy. You'd get he and Jack right on top of each other on a break rather than spacing and staggering appropriately. 1 defender was able to hold off 3 Pacers and you'd just shake your head and say "This is fun!"



RANT OFF - Sorry Nuff, it's not personal at all. It's only that point, not that you said it. The "JO rant" is a hot button for me, obviously.

Naptown_Seth
06-10-2008, 01:05 PM
You never mentioned JO wanting to play for a contender, or his and Bird's problem relationship. I think these are both big questions that have to be answered.<!-- / message -->
There's the issue I think. I'm not sure Dunleavy or JO are being valued rationally by Bird, one over and one under.

I think a Dun to Portland deal could be done and could get you back into round 1. You could go after a SG prospect and a big with those 2 picks, then feel more comfortable to move JO (say to CHI for Hinrich package, or elsewhere if PORT gives you Jack). You've got a PG, salary broken into more tradable pieces for the future, a young SG that can defend and drive (Westbrook), a young prospect big (several could be on the board at PORT's pick, and you are in full-on rebuild with clear direction.

Hinrich running PG for that team would be similar to Andre leading the young Philly team. Dre is a great defender of course, but the main idea is that Iggy was the star and Dre was just the vet point. Here it would be Danny.

Regardless I don't think we can reasonably expect a huge jump next season, so moves like this are hardly setbacks. Unfortunately I think Bird and TPTB don't even consider putting Dun out there because fans love him and Bird can't wait to dump JO at nearly all costs (with Donnie out of the way).


But what if this is more like a plane that's lost it's engine than a stock? There's a very real possibility that JO's value is on a steep decline that will terminate with a smoking hole in the ground 100 yards short of the runway. If this is the case, isn't it wiser to grab the parachute and jump sooner rather than later?

No. Because there is a reason his deal does become more valuable, even to the Pacers itself. EXPIRING. This is like not selling your broken plane until it becomes vintage or until spare parts become rare. The value point CHANGES. You are trying to look at it increasing in value for the same reason it currently has value, but that's not how it works. Right now it's not valuable as scrap and not valuable as a working version either.

Some junker buys it up cheap now, then in 5 years when he's got the only good replacement parts he makes a killing off your haste.

Teams will want to move players that are A) slightly overpriced and B) not working out as part of their own future plans. We won't be getting Kobe, but you might get a guy like Carter who at least plays. Or maybe even something unexpected like an aging Nash if PHX continues to slide and wants to overhaul sooner than Nash's deal ends; maybe Kerr wants a defensive team and defensive PG instead.

NuffSaid
06-10-2008, 01:07 PM
You mean sort of like how Bird said he wasn't going to fire Isiah?
Yep. You got it, dude. :D

NuffSaid
06-10-2008, 01:22 PM
Sorry Nuff, it's not personal at all. It's only that point, not that you said it. The "JO rant" is a hot button for me, obviously.
None taken. Actually, I'm glad you chimed in on this very issue because it emphasizes question #2 perfectly. Everyone from the coach, player, teammates, mgmt - EVEYRONE! - needs to have a clear understanding of what JO's role will be in JOB's system, but first he has to be identified as part of the core. You do those two things, as well as clear up any misgivings JO and Bird have, then barring another injury I'd say you've got (some simbulance of) the JO of old back.


Here is the part that confuses me when people talk about potential trades getting better. What team, that would be just one piece away from contending, is going to gut their team by putting together enough contracts of QUALITY players that the Pacers would be interested in, in order to get O'Neal?

Remember, they would be getting him to make a title run, so they won't want to give up core players, but the salaries have to match. Also remember that the Pacers (like any team) can only have so many players on their roster.

So, how does that work? Got any examples of teams that can put together salaries/players to match that would not tear apart what they are trying to build. (Remember, as well, the Pacers have to be interested in the players)
The only team I can think of that fit that description is the Lakers of today. They were poised to make a run at the title and went out and got Paul Gasol w/o giving up any of their core players or essential bench players. Another team that came close was the Utah Jazz when they traded for Kyle Kover. You can't put the Suns in that category because they gave up Shawn Marion - a player I felt was a big part of that team's success - and took a huge gamble in acquiring Shaq.

Point very well taken. It is the inverse of question #4. The gaining team would have to be absolutely, 100% sure of their chances to win w/JO in such a trade. The Pacers then would have to concede that they can't win w/JO and that they are in a rebuilding process. To that, you can be sure Bird/Morway won't take back players that aren't in the team's best interest either short- or long-term. Which brings us right back to the issue of money: do you trade JO just to gain some short-term financial flexibility or do you keep him and incorporate him into the "core" even if it's short-term (2 yrs) and build around that core? This very question is now the focus of my upcoming thread, "Identity Crisis: What Is Pacers' Basketball (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=39560)?", and I have 2Cleva to thank for it.

Peck
06-11-2008, 08:55 AM
WARNING - RANT ON


100% wrong, not even close. Sorry for the tone but this has been disproven strongly many times over and just won't die as a rumor.

JO TOOK NO MORE FGA after the "demand" than he was before the demand. What I think he ranted about was the horrid "running" that the team stunk at and how he was being asked to play the HIGH POST instead of the low block. If it was about "give me the ball" then he would have touched it more, and he didn't. Heck, pre-rarnt the ball touched him every play, just in a spot on the floor that emphasized his weak points.

The result was that his FTA were WAY down (about 50% IIRC) and his FG% was suffering. People talk about how terrible he is about fades and jumpers, but the "running game" with him in the high post demanded that this be his primary shot.

He was 100% right to say "look, I'm better in the low post and this team doesn't have guys that are good at running anyway, this is a big fubar".

So after that point his FTA jumped back up as did his points per shot (obviously), but his FGA did not. You're back to getting free points and slowing down the aggressiveness of the other team's frontline due to foul concerns.


JO has faults, but being displeased with the crap forced down Rick's throat by Bird was not one of them. That roster had no business trying to run. Dunleavy is 3 times the open court guy that Jackson is, and I like Jack.

Also Tinsley as a full court guy is ridiculously out of whack. It's never been true. Tins is an amazing half court passer and dribble penetration guy, not a 3 on 2 to dunk guy. You'd get he and Jack right on top of each other on a break rather than spacing and staggering appropriately. 1 defender was able to hold off 3 Pacers and you'd just shake your head and say "This is fun!"



RANT OFF - Sorry Nuff, it's not personal at all. It's only that point, not that you said it. The "JO rant" is a hot button for me, obviously.

Because I'm bored at the moment and have nothing better to do I feel the need to respond to this.

Just because you believe that something is not true does not mean that it has been disproven at all.

The facts of the matter are these.

1. A reporter for the star (Wells) reported that he heard a loud discussion/argument after a loss to the Boston Celtics.

2. The reporter later states on radio that the discussion that he overheard was about the offensive direction of the team from O'Neal and Carlisle.

3. When questioned about the incident O'Neal did not deny the conversation but he did not disclose the nature of the talk.

4. Peck nor Naptown Seth were anywhere near this conversation, so neither has an actual clue as to what was said or the context in which it was said.

5. The Indiana Pacers were 4-4 at that point in time.

Ok, those are facts that I believe that neither of us can disagree with.

Now here is where we can agree to go our seperate ways.

1. While J.O.'s shots did not increase, soon after said conversation, our entire offense changed. The % of the times that the ball went through O'Neal increased.

2. Jermaine O'Neal is NOT good enough to dictate the role of an entire team. That of course is my opinion and I'm sure you will not agree and that is fine. But we are not talking Michael Jordan, Shaq or even LaBron here. We are talking about a player who at the top of his game is a 20 & 10 guy. Nothing to sneeze at but also not something that allows you to dictate to a coach, GM, owners how an entire team should play.

3. We were .500% at the time he had his conversation. We were not 2-6 or even 3-5. We were .500 and we were working in a new offense and a new starting lineup. You don't think that maybe just maybe he shouldn't have given it more time?

Also this was about Jermaine O'Neal getting his, pure and simple. Do you believe that if J.O. was getting enough shots a game and we were losing that he would march into the office and say "hey, this isn't working. Why don't we run some plays so that Danny can more open looks". No, I don't think so either.

Your not the only one has this as a hot button issue. I feel as strongly as you do about this, I just feel the exact opposite.

It is not up to the player to dictate to the team how the team will play. Let me say that again with the correct emphasis.

It is not up to the player to dictate to the TEAM how the TEAM will play.

J.O.'s rant ended up putting Danny on the bench, getting his buddy Harrington ultimately benched and disgruntled and at the end of the day traded.

But hey, at least J.O. did not ever have to say he was a center in all of that time. Remember he required that Al be listed as the center. Why was that exactly?

Jermaine O'Neal knows better than Bird, Carlisle and Walsh on how the team should play? Odd, I thought one was a respected coach, one was a respected G.M. who knew all and that the other was a legend on the court.

But hey, I guess scoring 55 points against a team with no interior defense will allow you to dictate how the entire team should play.:whoknows:

In closing I bring you the gift and the high brow entertainment of :bdance:

Tom White
06-11-2008, 09:17 AM
The only team I can think of that fit that description is the Lakers of today. They were poised to make a run at the title and went out and got Paul Gasol w/o giving up any of their core players or essential bench players. Another team that came close was the Utah Jazz when they traded for Kyle Kover.

I might agree with the Utah comparison (I don't remember exactly all the players involved), but in the case of Memphis, they were in a salary dump mode with the idea of selling the team being the driving force.

Naptown_Seth
06-11-2008, 09:41 AM
The % of the times that the ball went through O'Neal increased.

Based on what stat or fact?

That's my point. I've not said JO didn't complain so you didn't have to prove that he did.

I didn't say the offense didn't change, and in fact said just the opposite, again no reason to prove that.

I said that nothing indicated that JO demanded the ball more. JO touched the ball nearly every play BEFORE his rant, it was just in the high post.

You must admit that you strongly dislike JO and perhaps aren't reliable as a neutral observer in that regard. You've blasted him for a long time, certainly before this moment and thus were primed to view it as proof of something that you have NO REASON to believe went the way you said it did, ie "I need more touches".

Prove to me that JO didn't say "I'm sick of the lazy defense and I'm sick of Jackson taking crap shots, you've got to get after these guys Rick instead of letting them walk all over you."

You can't. So my point remains that we don't know that JO said "give me more touches", and paired with the fact that he statistically didn't appear to get more touches indicates that presenting this as a KNOWN fact is still 100% wrong.


J.O.'s rant ended up putting Danny on the bench, getting his buddy Harrington ultimately benched and disgruntled and at the end of the day traded
Oh it did. It had nothing to do with the team struggling and wanting to get Foster into the starting lineup? Oh I forgot, you also don't think much of Foster and get upset if I dare to compare him to Dale as a rebounder because he doesn't get the tough rebounds.

To me the much simpler explanation, the non-conspiracy version, makes the most sense. Team was spinning it's wheels and had gotten off to slow starts. You change the starters to impact that.

You didn't mention Jackson going to the bench for Quis/Rawle I notice. Not an accident IMO, it's part of the bias where you only notice the things you don't like. To me I see all the changes as part of the same thing, trying to find a group of starters that didn't get off to a slow start.

Jack bench didn't help, he came back. Danny had a HORRIBLE +/-, worst on the team, so naturally you look to get a vet with a more positive impact in the game. That didn't quite work and it became apparent that Al was the part not fitting.

Why is that JO's rant, or did JO also rant to Nellie in Golden St? Maybe you can blame JO's rant for Saras being moved too.

Or maybe sometimes things are as simple as they appear on face value. JO wasn't good in the high post, the team wasn't good at running. I wasn't the only one complaining about this BEFORE JO's rant. Every play down JO touched the ball outside the arc or in the high post, PnR, ball handoff or fed someone and turned to face up on the FT line area. He often got the kick out for his jump shot. Is this how JO should be used?


It's not up to a player to dictate? As if Bird, Magic, Jordan never let their coach know how they felt and their opinions were never considered. You've got Bird in the paper saying "JO needs to step up and lead" but doesn't help guide him personally, show him how to become that leader. I think that affects how JO tries to interact with the team. I agree it's not his thing, that's a fault that limits him from being THE guy, but it doesn't make him insincere when he tries.


Also this was about Jermaine O'Neal getting his, pure and simple. Do you believe that if J.O. was getting enough shots a game and we were losing that he would march into the office and say "hey, this isn't working. Why don't we run some plays so that Danny can more open looks". No, I don't think so either.

And we are back at the start. JO DID DO THIS. The team was floundering with uninspired play but JO WAS GETTING HIS SHOTS. THEN HE RANTED and got the same amount of shots after that. So it wasn't about shots, you just want it to be.



I appreciate the banana and have the same sentiment. It's not dislike, just friends with one serious disagreement. I really think you let your Dale love bleed into JO discussions (and Foster). I loved Dale too but JO is a different guy in a different situation.


The problem with JO is that he's been hurt and hasn't been a reliable $18m+ type of offensive force. Inside he hasn't had the explosion and outside he just doesn't have a reliable enough jumper.

The knock on JO has been that the team doesn't win more with him, but that doesn't mean they win more without him.



I will concede that if a true inside source can be quoted as hearing JO explicitly say "I need more touches, this team is about me" then I am wrong. Until then it's just a JO rant that might in fact have been 100% justified and 100% with the TEAM'S best interest in hand.

Anthem
06-11-2008, 10:19 AM
Yes. We were reportedly seeking both. If true, that was ludicrous. We should have taken Odom when we had the chance. I'm sure they'd have laughed in our face for simply JO for Bynum straight up.
Opinion around the league was that LA would probably cave. Regardless, I really think Donnie would have been content with just Bynum, not Odom. That was his target all along.

Taterhead
06-11-2008, 08:24 PM
The Pacers have already invested years in waiting for him to get healthy. How much longer do you want to wait?

Are you suggesting that because a player battles injuries for a stretch that it's impossible for them to stay healthy? Remember Ilgauskas early in his career? He has now had 5-6 relatively injury free seasons in a row. As for your question, one more year.



[/QUOTE]Okay, now which is it? Are we hoping he gets healthy in orderr to play him, or to trade him?[/QUOTE]

Does it matter? How about either/or. If we play him and he plays well, doesn't that make it a lot easier to trade him?

[/QUOTE]Here is the part that confuses me when people talk about potential trades getting better. What team, that would be just one piece away from contending, is going to gut their team by putting together enough contracts of QUALITY players that the Pacers would be interested in, in order to get O'Neal?[/QUOTE]

Remember, they would be getting him to make a title run, so they won't want to give up core players, but the salaries have to match. Also remember that the Pacers (like any team) can only have so many players on their roster.

First off, they don't all have to be quality players. Secondly, they don't have to be necessarily contenders. But didn't you see this last year with Dallas and NJ? Kidd made nearly as much as O'neal will next year, last year. And the Nets flat out stole Devin Harris, some cap relief and 2 first round picks for a 37 year old washed up Jason Kidd. Another example is the year Detroit won thier first title. They traded for Rasheed Wallace who was atleast one of the top 3 paid players in the league at that time. And they obviously didn't gut thier teams.

[?QUOTE]So, how does that work? Got any examples of teams that can put together salaries/players to match that would not tear apart what they are trying to build. (Remember, as well, the Pacers have to be interested in the players)[/QUOTE]

It's impossible to foresee the next 18 months, but deals like that happen quite often. The Lakers nabbed Gasol from the Grizzlies for barely anything. The Pistons got Wallace. The Mavericks traded for Kidd. The Nuggets traded for Iverson. Miami got Caron Butler and Lamar Odom for Shaq. Pheonix traded for Shaq also. Most of those deals were deadline deals done in midseason by teams looking to make the jump. And most of the deals look better from the teams that give up the high priced players, sans Gasol and Wallace.

Not every team is trying to build something, some have already built something and are looking for the finishing touch. If JO stays healthy next year and plays well, he could be viewed as a smiliar "final piece" type player.