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View Full Version : building through youth? not true for the Pacers



Pacergeek
01-21-2010, 10:18 AM
Look at the Pacers teams during their run through the mid nineties through the mid 00's. These teams weren't built through the draft, but through savy trades. I acutally believe that the Pacers have been historically one of the worst franchises when it comes to drafting. Lets take a look at how the Pacers became contenders.

1993 off season: The Pacers traded Detlef Schrempf for Mckey. Mckey was a veteran who was superior defensively to Schrempf and was a better "team" player

1994 off season: The Pacers aquired Mark Jackson, another savy veteran PG who would become the best Pacers PG in history.

1996 off season: The Pacers traded away Jackson for Jalen Rose, a young player with great potential that would become one of the franchises best players.

1996-1997 mid season: The Pacers re-accquired Jackson via a trade. The youth experiment with starting Travis Best at PG did not work. The Pacers missed the playoffs.

1997 off season: Traded Eric Dampier, a good young center prospect, for Chris Mullin. Veteran player again

1998 off season: signed Sam Perkins, another veteran.

1999 off season: Traded veteran Antonio Davis for the rights to draft Jonathan Bender. Bad decision. Pacers may have won the 2000 title if they still had Antonio to match up with Shaq.

2000 off season: Traded veteran Dale Davis for the inexperienced Jermaine O'neal. No idea how Donnie Walsh pulled of this one-sided trade. O'neal would become the best Pacers PF/C in history.

2001-2002 mid season: traded Rose and Best for Ron Artest, Ron Mercer, Kevin Ollie, and Brad Miller. A great trade which helped the Pacers contend unitl the brawl.

Basically if you only plan on building through the draft, you have little chance unless you can land a franchise player. Lebron, Duncan, Wall etc. The draft is too hit or miss. If you have good players which teams are interested in, you need to be careful to get the best value for them.

Drewtone
01-21-2010, 10:38 AM
Um, the 90's team not built thru the draft? Really?

Reggie Miller
Rik Smits
Dale Davis
Antonio Davis (2nd Rounder)
Travis Best (a big bench player/4th quarter player in a number of the playoff series)

That's pretty much the core of the team. We certainly supplemented it and got the final piece (Jackson) thru trades, but I think that's a substantial case for a team built through the draft.

Pacergeek
01-21-2010, 10:46 AM
Those Pacer teams in the early 90's weren't contenders until the Pacers started trading their good players away for veterans that were better team players. I didn't even mention the Chuck Person trade that got us Pooh Richardson and Sam Mitchell. Pooh didn't really work out, but Mitchell was effective for us in his role.Chuck Person and Detlef were both good for the Pacers, but with those guys we weren't getting out of the first round of the Playoffs. Drewtone, please just read and pay attention to what I am explaining, you obviously missed my point completely.

Drewtone
01-21-2010, 11:07 AM
Those Pacer teams in the early 90's weren't contenders until the Pacers started trading their good players away for veterans that were better team players. I didn't even mention the Chuck Person trade that got us Pooh Richardson and Sam Mitchell. Pooh didn't really work out, but Mitchell was effective for us in his role.Chuck Person and Detlef were both good for the Pacers, but with those guys we weren't getting out of the first round of the Playoffs. Drewtone, please just read and pay attention to what I am explaining, you obviously missed my point completely.


Well, I read your first point carefully and admittedly kind of slacked off by about the third time you contradicted your orignial point.

No, the Pacers do not have a horrible track record of drafting. The core of a team that eventually went to the finals were Pacers draft picks. Of course there were trades that helped, particularly in the case of turning Chuck into Pooh/Sam into Mark Jackson. No team that builds effectively through the draft is going to get every single piece that way. I think you say as much as I did in your reply above... they drafted and then used some of those picks later to supplement the core with vets (and one FA signing being Byron).

As for that team never getting out of the first round without the trades, I'd say (as would a number of people on this board would) that time, the experience of those 1st round losses, and hiring Larry Brown did a great deal more for that core than the trades. Even Larry cited one of the reasons for the Detlef trade was to get more floortime for Dale (the draft pick).

Pacergeek
01-21-2010, 11:28 AM
Drewtone, thanks for reminding me about Byron Scott. Another veteran, not a young player, who helped the Pacers get over the hump. Thanks for helping me prove my point. With regards to the draft, I did not say that all of our draft picks were bad, but the Pacers improved through trades and free-agency. We did miss on several first-round draft picks over the years. We became a decent team with a few good draft picks, but became a relevant NBA franchise when we traded away for veterans. Drewtone, please explain to me how the draft helped us reach elite statues when we had so many misses? Scott Haskin, George McCloud, Malie Sealy, David Harrison, Fred Jones, Jonathan Bender, etc.

SkipperZ
01-21-2010, 11:57 AM
the pacers recent track record may leave a lot to be desired but they drafted very well from 87-91.

Pieces added later through other means were acquired to build around the core established by those very good draft picks (and mainly Reggie Miller)

also every team in the league can runoff a long list of bad draft picks. most draft picks fail.

Drewtone
01-21-2010, 01:36 PM
Drewtone, thanks for reminding me about Byron Scott. Another veteran, not a young player, who helped the Pacers get over the hump. Thanks for helping me prove my point. With regards to the draft, I did not say that all of our draft picks were bad, but the Pacers improved through trades and free-agency. We did miss on several first-round draft picks over the years. We became a decent team with a few good draft picks, but became a relevant NBA franchise when we traded away for veterans. Drewtone, please explain to me how the draft helped us reach elite statues when we had so many misses? Scott Haskin, George McCloud, Malie Sealy, David Harrison, Fred Jones, Jonathan Bender, etc.

Well that would be fairly easy, given that you're basing your analysis on a 15-20 year stretch, which covers basically two different teams.

The post-finals team, per Donny Walsh, was not set to be 'rebuilt', which would be difficult having drafted in the late 20's where you get flawed players, such as Tinsley and David Harrison, while you try to 'reload' with players through trade, FA, etc.

So let's stick to the Pacers team that was (in Scotty Pippen's view as quoted) better than the Bulls in '98 and reached the finals in 2000:

3 starters (Reggie, Dale, Rik) and the 2 of the first 3 off the bench (Travis and Antonio) were on the '98 team, and only Antonio was gone in 2000. You even argued up top that we would have been better off in 2000 if we'd kept our draftee, Antonio... many (including me) would agree.

I just don't see how under any reasonable benchmark, you wouldn't call that successfully building a team through the draft.

So that team, which had a core together a good 10 years anyway, had 2 misses, McCloud and Haskin (I don't know why you'd call Malik a bust... he was a young player who we traded that became a good player for Minny and tragically died.). McCloud was drafted and forced into a position he wasn't suited for... he was fine as a '3' when he returned to Denver.

Give me that crappy drafting record any time.

Pacergeek
01-21-2010, 02:39 PM
http://basketballreference.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=SEALYMA01%20


Makik Sealy's career stats. Mediocre scoring. Terrible rebounds, assists, three point %. I never said he was a bust, but he was never really anything more then maybe the eighth or ninth best player on any given team. The Pacers could have gotten his kind of value in the second round.

What happened to Malik is sad, but just because a player dies suddenly, we don't need to over-glorify his accomplishments as a pro.

ChicagoJ
01-21-2010, 04:06 PM
Um, the 90's team not built thru the draft? Really?

Reggie Miller
Rik Smits
Dale Davis
Antonio Davis (2nd Rounder)
Travis Best (a big bench player/4th quarter player in a number of the playoff series)

That's pretty much the core of the team. We certainly supplemented it and got the final piece (Jackson) thru trades, but I think that's a substantial case for a team built through the draft.

Further, drafted players like Chuck Person, Malik Sealy, and Eric Piatkowski were the assets that were traded (ultimately) for Mark Jackson.

Some of you are drawing an unreasonable distinction here. Building a team through the draft does not mean you can't make trades and sign FAs. It means that your draft picks are your primary asset for the future. For other teams, expiring contracts are thier assets for the future.

But I think there's even less history of success for a small market team to use a boatload of cap space and turn that into a championship contender. Remember "Backcourt 2000" in Phoenix? That worked about as well as Grant Hill in Orlando and T-Mac in Houston.

ChicagoJ
01-21-2010, 04:20 PM
the pacers recent track record may leave a lot to be desired but they drafted very well from 87-91.

Pieces added later through other means were acquired to build around the core established by those very good draft picks (and mainly Reggie Miller)

also every team in the league can runoff a long list of bad draft picks. most draft picks fail.

Correction: 86-91. In 1986, they drafted the upcoming RoY. And even though McCloud was a bust, look at that draft... it was terrible overall even though there were some really good PGs taken in the middle of the first round. Pervis Ellison #1? Danny Ferry #2? Randy White and Tom Hammonds in the top-ten? As bad as McCloud was during his four years in Indy, five of the top-ten in that draft were busts and Pooh Richardson, JR Reid and Stacy King don't exactly stand out either. The only good picks in the top-ten were Sean Elliott and Glen Rice. Now, the second ten was much better (Blaylock, Hardaway, Anderson, Barros and that Shawn Kemp guy that was a stud in Seattle).

Person - Miller - Smits - McCloud - T.Davis and Williams in the second round - Dale Davis ... that's a great six year run to build the team around.

To be honest - Tisdale in '85, Vern in '84 and Stipo in '83 weren't bad picks either. They were all starters, along with Chuck, on the '86-87 team that made the playoffs and won the first NBA playoff game in franchise history. Stipo, like Haskin, had a freak injury that ended his career. I'm not saying Haskin was going to be good... I'm saying his career was over in less than thirty games and less than 200 minutes so we don't have a clue if he would have been any good or not.

So from '83 to '92, we drafted Stipo, Vern, Tisdale, Chuck, Reggie, Rik, McCloud, Tony Davis, Dale Davis, and Malik. That's pretty damn good.

SkipperZ
01-21-2010, 05:49 PM
Correction: 86-91. In 1986, they drafted the upcoming RoY. And even though McCloud was a bust, look at that draft... it was terrible overall even though there were some really good PGs taken in the middle of the first round. Pervis Ellison #1? Danny Ferry #2? Randy White and Tom Hammonds in the top-ten? As bad as McCloud was during his four years in Indy, five of the top-ten in that draft were busts and Pooh Richardson, JR Reid and Stacy King don't exactly stand out either. The only good picks in the top-ten were Sean Elliott and Glen Rice. Now, the second ten was much better (Blaylock, Hardaway, Anderson, Barros and that Shawn Kemp guy that was a stud in Seattle).

Person - Miller - Smits - McCloud - T.Davis and Williams in the second round - Dale Davis ... that's a great six year run to build the team around.

To be honest - Tisdale in '85, Vern in '84 and Stipo in '83 weren't bad picks either. They were all starters, along with Chuck, on the '86-87 team that made the playoffs and won the first NBA playoff game in franchise history. Stipo, like Haskin, had a freak injury that ended his career. I'm not saying Haskin was going to be good... I'm saying his career was over in less than thirty games and less than 200 minutes so we don't have a clue if he would have been any good or not.

So from '83 to '92, we drafted Stipo, Vern, Tisdale, Chuck, Reggie, Rik, McCloud, Tony Davis, Dale Davis, and Malik. That's pretty damn good.

I completely agree. I only singled out 87-91 because thats when we got the guys we actually built the team around. But its definitely true that in the 80s-early 90s we drafted very well.

Trader Joe
01-21-2010, 06:10 PM
Lebron, Duncan, Wall, etc.

Dude hasn't even played a game in the NBA yet and he's the third best example of drafting a franchise player? Damn, he really is good.

Hicks
01-21-2010, 08:11 PM
Would the mid-90's team even exist if they'd started being drafted in 2005?

I mean Reggie was drafted in '87, but it wasn't until his 7th season that we got the 93-94 team.

Danny's 7th season will be the 2011-12 season.

I just can easily imagine, if the Internet was then what it is now, that fans would have jumped ship and given up by, say, 1992 or so on that team and been demanding that Donnie "blow it up".

Jonathan
01-21-2010, 08:17 PM
You forgot to mention the draft picks of talented players like Scot Haskin and George Mc Cloud.

Pacers can't afford to miss out in this years draft class and not take Cole Aldrich #1 overall.

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 10:34 AM
Would the mid-90's team even exist if they'd started being drafted in 2005?

I mean Reggie was drafted in '87, but it wasn't until his 7th season that we got the 93-94 team.

Danny's 7th season will be the 2011-12 season.

I just can easily imagine, if the Internet was then what it is now, that fans would have jumped ship and given up by, say, 1992 or so on that team and been demanding that Donnie "blow it up".

We didn't need the Internet. Sports-talk radio was enough on its own. The internet has made it even bigger and more immediate, but it was not new.

The Chuck and Micheal for a pile of Pooh and Spare Change trade was exactly that. They were stuck at 0.500, the fans were restless, had already forgotten about what Chuck did in 87 and 91, and were ready to blow it up and hand the team over to Detlef (not Reggie.)

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 10:43 AM
http://basketballreference.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=SEALYMA01%20


Makik Sealy's career stats. Mediocre scoring. Terrible rebounds, assists, three point %. I never said he was a bust, but he was never really anything more then maybe the eighth or ninth best player on any given team. The Pacers could have gotten his kind of value in the second round.

Yes to Sprewell, maybe to PJ Brown and Doug Christie.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_1992.html

Sort by PPG. Sealy was picked 14th, and is 14th overall in PPG for that draft class. After the top-six, that draft stunk. Turning that into part of the Mark Jackson trade probably worked pretty out pretty well, because that was not a very deep draft class.

Its hard to say he's a "bust" when he outscored the four guys taken ahead of him and all but two of the guys taken after him.

Unclebuck
01-22-2010, 10:46 AM
Further, drafted players like Chuck Person, Malik Sealy, and Eric Piatkowski were the assets that were traded (ultimately) for Mark Jackson.

Some of you are drawing an unreasonable distinction here. Building a team through the draft does not mean you can't make trades and sign FAs. It means that your draft picks are your primary asset for the future. For other teams, expiring contracts are thier assets for the future.

But I think there's even less history of success for a small market team to use a boatload of cap space and turn that into a championship contender. Remember "Backcourt 2000" in Phoenix? That worked about as well as Grant Hill in Orlando and T-Mac in Houston.

Good points.

If you are a team like the Pacers in the mid 80's which is worse than an expansion team - they had nothing - they had no good or marketable players. They needed to draft some good players first build up a little "equity" and then make a few trades, mix and match, work on chemistry.....I won't repeat the history here. But the key thing is first draft some talent. (honestly I don't know where this current pacers team is in this process)

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 10:54 AM
We don't know because it is still too early to tell on Rush, Hibbert and Tyler (and Price).

I think its safe to say they belong in the rotation, but we don't know if they are starters or sixth/seventh/eighth men yet and they need game time and experience because this question is more about mental skills and adjustments than physical skills.

To further your point... two years ago the Pacers had two assets: Granger and the opportunity to trade JO's contract.

When you are that depleted, it is really a lot longer than a three-year plan. But you have to call it that because the audience's attention span is so short. They've made progress, but it may take a long time to build a contender out of rubble.

BillS
01-22-2010, 12:39 PM
You forgot to mention the draft picks of talented players like Scot Haskin and George Mc Cloud.

Pacers can't afford to miss out in this years draft class and not take Cole Aldrich #1 overall.

Haskin was only a bad pick in hindsight due to getting injured. There's every reason to suppose he'd have had a good career otherwise.

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 04:06 PM
Haskin was only a bad pick in hindsight due to getting injured. There's every reason to suppose he'd have had a good career otherwise.

As I said above, the guy played less than 200 minutes in his career. We're all just guessing if he was any good or not.

Drewtone
01-22-2010, 04:14 PM
I remember seeing Scott at Best Buy into his last year and it was almost painful to try to watch the guy walk.

It was Stipo who suggested him to the Pacers... is there a Stipo curse???

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 04:19 PM
I remember seeing Scott at Best Buy into his last year and it was almost painful to try to watch the guy walk.

I contemplated saying that I think the servered nerve forced him to walk with a cane. I think I've heard that before but wasn't positive. This wasn't even a routine ACL type of injury.


It was Stipo who suggested him to the Pacers... is there a Stipo curse???

:laugh: And I contemplated saying something similar to this - "Don't take any more draft recommendations from Stipo!"

Doug
01-22-2010, 04:38 PM
I would even say that what we are trying to do now is what we did to build those Pacers teams that we were so fond of.

Build the core of the team through the draft. Accumulate other assets through the draft and minor trades. Then make a few more strategic trades to complete the team.

PaceBalls
01-22-2010, 04:45 PM
Good points.

If you are a team like the Pacers in the mid 80's which is worse than an expansion team - they had nothing - they had no good or marketable players. They needed to draft some good players first build up a little "equity" and then make a few trades, mix and match, work on chemistry.....I won't repeat the history here. But the key thing is first draft some talent. (honestly I don't know where this current pacers team is in this process)

But we also need a front office with some guts. TPTB seem to hang on and hang on to their players for way too long.

We do have good assets that we could use. Troy Murphy, Jeff Foster seem to have been all over the news. But beyond that, we have a young center in Roy Hibbert who has put up some amazing numbers in a few games this year. Teams would jump at the chance to get Roy. We have also seen AJ Price play like he belongs, how many teams are looking for a young stud who has proven he can play basketball in the NBA with upside on a 2nd round rookie contract... These guys should not be considered untouchable IMO, as much as I like them and all. Even Danny should be considered tradeable. This Pacers team right now is not some contender like the Spurs where you try really hard to keep the core together.

It's been this way for a long time now, TPTB overvalue the players they have and never sell high.

(I'm not advocating trading these guys, just saying it seems like the attitude is these guys are off limits, which is crazy IMO)

Hicks
01-22-2010, 04:55 PM
But we also need a front office with some guts. TPTB seem to hang on and hang on to their players for way too long.

If Donnie Walsh were still here I would agree, but don't forget how quickly we punted on James White and Shawne Williams.

PaceBalls
01-22-2010, 04:57 PM
If Donnie Walsh were still here I would agree, but don't forget how quickly we punted on James White and Shawne Williams.


Good point, but they weren't as invested with them either, and with Shawne, it wasn't just a basketball decision, but more of a character thing.

Hicks
01-22-2010, 05:01 PM
Good point, but they weren't as invested with them either, and with Shawne, it wasn't just a basketball decision, but more of a character thing.

True, but they also could have overpaid to keep Jack, but they didn't.

ChicagoJ
01-22-2010, 06:27 PM
Given our disarray this season, maybe Jack was worth that much.

His $$$/ win ratio seems like a bargain.

Doug
01-22-2010, 07:35 PM
Given our disarray this season, maybe Jack was worth that much.

His $$$/ win ratio seems like a bargain.I liked Jack. I felt he could actually be the starting PG on a 'championship-contending' team. (Assuming he's surrounded by strong players. I never felt that way about TJ.

Jonathan
01-22-2010, 11:54 PM
The only players on our roster that are top ten picks are DunleavyJr (3) & Ford (8). Pacers did not draft either! In the last few years it seems that the teams that have continued to draft in the top ten ( Wolves, Clippers, Grizzlies, Sonics/Thunder ) are always drafting in the top ten.

Pacers are just @ a crossroads with contracts and health. I am sure some on this forum are upset we won tonight because we lost ping pong balls. The Thunde & Grizz have a lot of young talent but odds are they will not keep that intact for long and end up having to trade for needs ie veterans (Kurt Thomas type) 2 get them over the hump.