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View Full Version : Seven Teams with Intriguing Off-Seasons (older SI.com article--Pacers mentioned)



Ace E.Anderson
08-14-2012, 01:08 PM
Seven teams with intriguing offseasons
BOSTON CELTICS, BROOKLYN NETS, FREE AGENTS, HOUSTON ROCKETS, INDIANA PACERS, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES, MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES, UTAH JAZZ (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/08/07/nba-free-agency-evaluation/)


Itís offseason evaluation time, and Iíve already covered the winners and those teams that have me a bit concerned. Here, I look at the seven teams that left me most intrigued with their July work, both because of the sometimes-dramatically different paths between which they had to choose, and because of the varying directions they could still go after those initial moves.

ē Boston Celtics

No team outside the Dwight Howard Nexus of Horror had a more interesting offseason than the 17-time champions. Boston had carefully set up its books so that this could be a rebuilding summer, with deals for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen expiring and the potential for more than $20 million in cap room. But then something funny happened: Garnett, 36, hung on as the teamís top all-around player and one of the leagueís three best defenders, and the Celtics came within one victory of a third NBA Finals trip in five seasons.

Even that success brought questions. Was it the lucky result of injuries to Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh? Or was it a signal of Bostonís strength, winning with a hobbled Allen, a crippled bench and without Avery Bradley, the menacing second-year guard whose midseason insertion into the starting lineup transformed the Celtics?

The starting lineup with Bradley in Allenís place outscored opponents by an unthinkable 20 points per 100 possessions and scored at a rate that would have edged the Spurs for the league lead. Such success might suggest that the way Bradleyís cutting fits within Bostonís spacing could solve the teamís long-term scoring decline and save another offense-first player (Jason Terry, now) to prop up bench units. But that lineup played fewer than 350 minutes together all season, meaning we know very little about it in the big picture.

Meanwhile, Boston got a first-hand look at Miamiís frightening emergence as a small-ball team with an emboldened and post-savvy LeBron James, a trend that firmed up in the Heatís Finals win over the Thunder.

Add all of it together, and the Celtics faced an enormously complex set of questions this offseason. Were they contenders? How serious of one? And if they were, could they spend in such a way as to improve prospects for a ring in 2012-13 while remaining relatively flexible and finding a young asset or two?


The consensus around the league is that Boston did about as well as possible, especially because a mammoth cap hold attached to Garnett ó who is still too good to let go ó soaked up nearly all of its cap room. After Allenís departure, the Celtics worked a three-team sign-and-trade for 26-year-old shooting guard Courtney Lee, a career 38.6 percent three-point shooter and hard-working defender. That move followed the use of the full mid-level exception on Terry, an efficient guard who can score both off the dribble and as a spot-up three-point shooter. Boston hasnít had that kind of guard in years, one reason the teamís offense has dropped off so badly.

Boston brought back power forward Brandon Bass on a fair deal (about $7 million per season) and signed three solid minimum contracts in point guard Keyon Dooling, power forward Chris Wilcox and center Jason Collins. The reported four-year, $36 million deal for forward Jeff Green isnít done yet but itís coming, a contract that will represent an overpay for a backup whose teams have consistently been much better with him on the bench.

The Celtics have clearly given themselves a puncherís chance at winning the 2012-13 title and the ability to put out much better small lineups against the Heat. They will be massive underdogs as long as Miami is healthy and motivated, but they are much better equipped now to take advantage of a tiny break, such as some chemistry malfunction among the Heat stars or a poorly timed tweak to Dwyane Wadeís knee. But as things stand now, they need that kind of break.

Was that worth all of this spending? Boston is capped out for 2013-14, with an anticipated payroll so high that it might not be able to use the full mid-level exception to attract another veteran. The Celtics already have about $57 million committed in 2014-15 (including estimates for draft picks between now and then), though the bill gets a little lighter if Garnettís $12 million deal for that season is only 50 percent guaranteed, as several sources around the league claim. And Greenís deal will likely have some partial guarantees built into it.

Still, Boston might end up paying Lee, Terry (already almost 35), Bass and Green about $27 million in 2014-15, meaning itís clearly punted some future flexibility in exchange for a small ó but much-improved ó chance of a title next season. Some of these assets, especially Lee, Bass and Paul Pierce, whose deal for 2013-14 is only partially guaranteed, are tradable if things go badly.

Just a fascinating offseason, with ownershipís addiction to winning surely playing a role in some of president Danny Aingeís decisions.

ē Minnesota Timberwolves

Step back from general manager David Kahnís series of unexpected moves this summer, and I mostly see an enormous load of pressure on point guard Ricky Rubio (and perhaps forward Derrick Williams, the second pick in the 2011 draft) as power forward Kevin Loveís three-year max contract begins ticking. Minnesota was all over the place in July, fighting with Portland over small forward Nicolas Batum, signing shooting guard Brandon Roy out of ďretirement,Ē enticing two versatile Russian players (forward Andrei Kirilenko and guard Alexey Shved) and dumping another lottery bust (Wesley Johnson), among other transactions. Those moves came after the June acquisition of small forward Chase Budinger for a first-round pick.

Almost every league executive I spoke to over the summer said that, on paper, this is a playoff team ó provided Rubio rediscovers his peak game in relatively speedy fashion after returning from ACL surgery. I agree. Minnesota was in hot pursuit of the No. 8 seed last season before a devastating run of injuries, and Kahn has remade one of the worst wing rotations in recent NBA history.

But whatís the ceiling, and what comes next? If Kirilenko picks up his option in the second year of his two-year, $20 million contract and the second year of Royís $10 million deal kicks in, the Wolves will have about $56 million in salary committed for 2013-14 before factoring in center Nikola Pekovicís cap hold. In other words, theyíre effectively capped out.

And a question not enough folks are asking: What if the 31-year-old Kirilenko has a successful season and follows the Gerald Wallace path, opting out of one year of guaranteed money in exchange for a long-term deal? If that happens, the Wolves might spend themselves out of meaningful cap room through the summer of 2014. Itís true this team doesnít have much history of attracting free agents, but it has to make the jump to championship contender somehow, and it likely wonít be via the draft. The Wolves wonít be bad enough anymore to collect high picks, and they have blown so many first-rounders (Johnson, Jonny Flynn, the Ty Lawson trade, etc.) over the last three years as to have nearly cost themselves a chance for Thunder-style group upside.

Rubio and Williams represent the only hope left for that kind of development, and Williams has Love blocking his best NBA position, power forward. If Rubio is great and Minnesota gets help elsewhere, such as the Thunderís losing James Harden or Serge Ibaka, the Wolves could reach the point of being able to make some serious noise. But those are big ďifs.Ē

ē Memphis Grizzlies

Small picture: A team with no cap flexibility brought back two key frontcourt players (Marreese Speights and the forgotten, but essential, Darrell Arthur); used the mini mid-level exception to sign a player (Jerryd Bayless) who could fill two needs: backup point guard and three-point shooting, the latter if last seasonís 42.3 percent accuracy from deep (44-of-104) wasnít a fluke; and dealt a power forward deep in the rotation (Dante Cunningham) for a player who can shoot three-pointers (guard Wayne Ellington).

Sensible moves all, even if the reserve wing rotation of Ellington, Quincy Pondexter and rookie Tony Wroten (and perhaps Bayless, splitting time between guard positions) is dicey and lacks a long small forward type. Depending on how some of the newcomers perform, outside shooting and spacing could be issues without guard O.J. Mayo, who signed with Dallas. But theyíve been issues for years.

Bigger picture: The Grizzlies project to be about $4 million over next seasonís tax line and already right at the projected tax line in 2013-14, and they have an average of nearly $60 million annually committed to four players ó power forward Zach Randolph, center Marc Gasol, point guard Mike Conley and small forward Rudy Gay ó for the next three seasons. The Grizz have done well enough on the fringes to push Thunder, whom they always push, if everything goes right. If it doesnít, will Memphis look to deal Gay or Randolph to gain some future flexibility? It feels like a ďlast chanceĒ season for these four, though the teamís new owner, tech billionaire Robert Pera, and the leagueís new revenue-sharing system might affect the course of the franchise.

ē Indiana Pacers

Letís be honest: Itís probably not ideal to pay center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill $22 million combined (and going up) in each of the next four seasons, particularly after the Finals and Miamiís late-series blitzing of Indiana in the second round appeared to signal an evolution away from slow-footed size. But Indianaís decision to pay Hibbert at this level despite the fact that he has never averaged 30 minutes per game amounts to the recognition of two realities:

1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two roundsí worth of playoff gate revenue.

2. Itís nice to trumpet the NBAís anti-big man evolution, but the two teams held up as the primary examples of killer small-ball play also happen to have arguably the leagueís two best players ó LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both of whom can conveniently play power forward for extended minutes (or in LeBronís case, entire games). If you donít have one of those guys, possessing a big man is basically essential. Remember: Indiana outscored Miami in the playoffs when Hibbert was on the floor, and even if the Heat reversed that trend over the last three games of the series, the Pacers were still miles better in that stretch when the big fella played.

If the ultimate goal is to get a star player, these moves hurt. The Pacers have an estimated $51 million committed in 2013-14, but cap holds for power forwards David West and Tyler Hansbrough (whom the Pacers would love to deal) will take them over the cap.

This is where ownership demands and basic NBA realities come into play. The Pacersí front office clearly hasnít received the star-or-bust mandate that Houstonís ownership has allowed for there, and without that mandate or any history of attracting outside free agents, itís hard to see any viable alternative other than remaining flexible for flexibilityís sake. That would have been fine, but it would also have involved a step back that the franchise was justifiably unwilling to take, especially with the books relatively clean after 2013-14, when small forward Danny Grangerís deal expires.

The Darren Collison/Ian Mahinmi deal was a bust on the surface, in large part because the Pacers had about $10.5 million in temporary cap space while Hibbert and Hill remained unsigned (and with only their cap holds on the books). Why couldnít Indiana have just signed Mahinmi ó or Chris Kaman, or Carl Landry ó outright instead of dealing an asset for a $4 million backup big man?

For one, the Pacers had limited time. Hill and Hibbert werenít going to sit around waiting to sign theoretical contracts forever. The Pacers badly needed a backup big man capable of playing both power forward and center, and they apparently didnít believe they could get one via free agency before the Hill and Hibbert deals obliterated their cap room. They kicked the tires on a number of scenarios but couldnít quite pull the trick. They probably could have done better for Collison or later via the full mid-level exception, but dumping Dahntay Jones in the Collison deal freed up an extra salary slot that the Pacers used to sign swingman Gerald Green in addition to point guard D.J. Augustin.

Green now faces a heavy burden of replacing both Leandro Barbosa and Jones, though Lance Stephenson could help if he becomes reliable enough for coach Frank Vogel to pair him with Hill.

ē Brooklyn Nets

Iíve written about many of their moves (including here (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/03/brooklyn-nets-land-deron-williams/) and here (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/02/nets-hawks-joe-johnson-dwight-howard-trade/)) and their place within the Howard Nexus of Horror (here (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/17/kris-humphries-brooklyn-nets/) and here (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/11/dwight-howard-orlando-magic-brooklyn-nets/)), so Iíll be brief. The Nets put themselves in the conversation for a No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they spent enormously to do so, and left us with three big questions:

1. Can they guard anyone?

2. Can they get Howard once center Brook Lopez becomes trade eligible again on Jan. 15?

3. If they canít, how can they upgrade the team while committing roughly $65 million annually to four players ó point guard Deron Williams, shooting guard Joe Johnson, small forward Wallace and Lopez ó for the next four seasons?


Utah Jazz

Covered at length in this Western Conference analysis (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/07/27/nba-western-conference/), the incumbent No. 8 seed will be a team to watch on and off the court all season. The acquisitions of Mo Williams and Marvin Williams make sense. Marvin beefs up what was a weak wing rotation and spares Gordon Hayward the burden of being a full-time small forward ó good things if the Hayward/Marvin Williams pair can work, and if there are enough minutes for second-year shooting guard Alec Burks. The other Williams isnít really a point guard, but he makes sense as one in a post-heavy Utah system that requires outside shooting, entry passes and active cutting from its point man instead of high pick-and-rolls. Devin Harris struggled to fit that system, though the Jazz reached some of their highest levels of two-way play during his hottest streaks.

The frontcourt is both loaded and loaded with questions. Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors all need big minutes, and Jefferson and Favors bring almost diametrically opposed skill sets. Jefferson is a post hub who canít guard the pick-and-roll and earns few free throws, while Favors is emerging as a mobile defensive crusher with an inconsistent and tentative offensive game (outside of some off-ball cuts). Coach Tyrone Corbin played the three together with great success in limited minutes last season. But if that super-big lineup remains only an occasional experiment, Corbin will have to sort minutes in a way that maximizes two-way productivity ó even it means starting Favors alongside Jefferson for offense/defense purposes.

In the big picture, every player on a non-rookie deal other than Marvin Williams and Jeremy Evans has an expiring contract, and Millsap has already reportedly turned down an extension offer. Utah has decisions to make ó and the future flexibility to be a major trade player.

ē Houston Rockets

Another team Iíve covered to death, from its trade of point guard Kyle Lowry to its signings of point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik to its amnestying of Luis Scola and pursuit of Orlandoís Howard. The Rockets want a star, and theyíve assembled an army of young forwards and an extra likely lottery pick from the Raptors to build an offer. Even after wresting Lin and Asik away from New York and Chicago, respectively, via poison-pill offers, the Rockets still have about $9 million in cap space and shooting guard Kevin Martinís expiring deal to offer the Magic for Howard. If they miss on Howard, the Rockets likely will be bad enough to earn their own lottery pick and be flush with cap space next summer.

Speed
08-14-2012, 01:36 PM
I think that's fair, makes sense. I agree with basically everything said for Indiana.

Hypnotiq
08-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Wait what Hill's contract goes up more

you kidding? :rolleyes:

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 03:34 PM
I think this mirrors what I have been saying about the Pacers and I certainly agree with what they say about the Celtics. Some homers here are not going to be happy with this article on either of those teams.....:cool: ... But, they will probably put everyone on "ignore" so they don't have to hear how silly they are.....

Heisenberg
08-14-2012, 05:10 PM
Wait what Hill's contract goes up more

you kidding? :rolleyes:

That's how NBA contracts work most of the time. Newsflash.

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 05:15 PM
Wait what Hill's contract goes up more

you kidding? :rolleyes:

So does Hibbert's contract. Such is life in the NBA.....:cool: ...

Hypnotiq
08-14-2012, 05:17 PM
I thought it was just a flat 7 mil a year

xIndyFan
08-14-2012, 07:13 PM
I thought it was just a flat 7 mil a year

8, but yeah it's a flat contract.

Heisenberg
08-14-2012, 07:37 PM
8, but yeah it's a flat contract.

link?

xIndyFan
08-14-2012, 09:11 PM
link?

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/indiana.htm

jeffg-body
08-14-2012, 10:27 PM
Some pretty good points in here but I don't see any mention of how our young guys that are working hard to improve their game. No mention of PG here or that Augustin will play a vital role coming off of the bench. I guess I am still old school in thought as a good deep team can beat a team with a few star players. I don't think our young guys were prepared on just how hard it is when you get past the first round in the playoffs. I see us being much better than last year with a full training camp and players getting accustomed to their roles. I do like most of our additions to the team with the exception of hoping to keep Barbosa. It will be a tougher year coming up with Philly getting Bynum and the Celtics getting stronger and younger. I am just glad they are not in the central.

pacergod2
08-14-2012, 10:48 PM
I continue to believe that we trade Hansborough to the Jazz with a first or two and cap space. Possibly at the deadline. Really... makes too much sense. They hold Hans' Bird Rights on a deal that makes sense. They get money, cap space, and first round pick(s) for someone that they probably aren't looking to pay. The Jazz get a guy that suits what they need for their rotation for an appropriate price. Hans gives them a ton of toughness and rebounding in an appropriate role.

We get Millsap and pay him going into next year. We pay West as well as our front court rotation is as good as anybody in the league.

PS - We know Hibbert's deal is graduated based on what Portland's deal as, so him saying that both deals are graduated just means that Hibbert's is.

Eddie Gill
08-14-2012, 11:10 PM
Some pretty good points in here but I don't see any mention of how our young guys that are working hard to improve their game. No mention of PG here or that Augustin will play a vital role coming off of the bench. I guess I am still old school in thought as a good deep team can beat a team with a few star players. I don't think our young guys were prepared on just how hard it is when you get past the first round in the playoffs. I see us being much better than last year with a full training camp and players getting accustomed to their roles. I do like most of our additions to the team with the exception of hoping to keep Barbosa. It will be a tougher year coming up with Philly getting Bynum and the Celtics getting stronger and younger. I am just glad they are not in the central.

While I agree with you from a team chemistry and player development standpoint, from SI's perspective, I can see why the writer doesn't go into great deal of time discussing DJ Augustin and Gerald Green. To Pacers faithful, these are big acquisitions. But to the rest of the world, they are relatively minor moves involving one of the smallest market teams in the league and two fairly unknown players. I think pieces like this are intended more as a general overview of the direction of a team - meant more as a quick update noting who's on their roster and why.

That said, I'm becoming increasingly optimistic about the notion of building on the chemistry of last year's team.

Heisenberg
08-14-2012, 11:13 PM
http://hoopshype.com/salaries/indiana.htm
I don't believe them.

Peck
08-14-2012, 11:21 PM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two rounds’ worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?

Eddie Gill
08-14-2012, 11:35 PM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two rounds’ worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?


My take was that in the absence of a realistic move capable of landing us a superstar, our cap space meant very little. Signing our own guys amounted to another year we just saw - and a playoffs that saw a rejuvenation of the fan base - with strong potential to improve.

Why take a risk and shake things up, when you can all but guarantee a high playoff seed until 2014 when we regain financial flexibility and can reexamine our needs with a couple years of continuing to solidify some of the returning locals.

Ace E.Anderson
08-15-2012, 08:47 AM
My take was that in the absence of a realistic move capable of landing us a superstar, our cap space meant very little. Signing our own guys amounted to another year we just saw - and a playoffs that saw a rejuvenation of the fan base - with strong potential to improve.

Why take a risk and shake things up, when you can all but guarantee a high playoff seed until 2014 when we regain financial flexibility and can reexamine our needs with a couple years of continuing to solidify some of the returning locals.

I DON'T THINK (or maybe hope) that the FO and the Simons are okay with being just good enough to make the playoffs. But at the same time one has to wonder whether or not we really can attract "big name" FA when we have cap-space available. Though it's kind of unfortunate, building a team full of 2nd and 3rd tier players and hoping their hardwork, cohesiveness and the potential for one of our young vets to break out and become a very good player can help with advancement in the playoffs is a sound option for a team that may not have other REALISTIC options to improve the team--outside of overpaying in FA of course.

BRushWithDeath
08-15-2012, 09:24 AM
Some pretty good points in here but I don't see any mention of how our young guys that are working hard to improve their game. No mention of PG here or that Augustin will play a vital role coming off of the bench. I guess I am still old school in thought as a good deep team can beat a team with a few star players. I don't think our young guys were prepared on just how hard it is when you get past the first round in the playoffs. I see us being much better than last year with a full training camp and players getting accustomed to their roles. I do like most of our additions to the team with the exception of hoping to keep Barbosa. It will be a tougher year coming up with Philly getting Bynum and the Celtics getting stronger and younger. I am just glad they are not in the central.

The idea that a solid, deep team can beat a team with a few starts isn't old school thought. It's just a belief in an exception to a rule that has been proven since James Naismith first nailed a peach basket on the wall.

Basketball has always been driven by stars. It always will be. There are only 10 guys allowed on the court at a time. A single star can trump a team. Multiple stars on the opposition are a death knell.

BillS
08-15-2012, 09:44 AM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two rounds’ worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?

For one thing, he said it in the context that bolder moves would almost certainly mean committing to taking a step or two BACKWARDS this season.

For another, why would I argue with an SI article? Not like the writer is going to read my response.

OlBlu
08-15-2012, 09:48 AM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two roundsí worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?

I think that is exactly the case and a few of us here have been saying that all along and some of us think it is the reason Bird quit the team.....:cool: ... Bird was all Gung Ho on coming back but wanted to talk to Simon. He had that talk and quit. You don't need a wire tap to understand what transpired. :cool: ...

PacerDude
08-15-2012, 10:02 AM
The NBA is getting closer and closer to MLB. There are a handful of teams that can spend the money to load up their roster. The rest of MLB just has to sit back and deal with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, etc.... buying up all the talent and winning World Series. There's another group that maybe makes the playoffs or comes really close - enough to satisfy their fan base. And then there's the group that concedes on opening day and pretty much just grooms players for the big market teams to get later on. Yeah - every now and then you get Tampa making a run with a low payroll, but the MLB equation is easy. Spend money, win games, win titles.

Same in the NBA. Big Market teams don't care about going over the cap - they'll just pay the penalty tax and move on. Until the NBA goes to a hard cap like football, this is what it's like.

Sparhawk
08-15-2012, 11:18 AM
The NBA is getting closer and closer to MLB. There are a handful of teams that can spend the money to load up their roster. The rest of MLB just has to sit back and deal with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, etc.... buying up all the talent and winning World Series. There's another group that maybe makes the playoffs or comes really close - enough to satisfy their fan base. And then there's the group that concedes on opening day and pretty much just grooms players for the big market teams to get later on. Yeah - every now and then you get Tampa making a run with a low payroll, but the MLB equation is easy. Spend money, win games, win titles.

Same in the NBA. Big Market teams don't care about going over the cap - they'll just pay the penalty tax and move on. Until the NBA goes to a hard cap like football, this is what it's like.

The new CBA should help a little moving forward, but yeah, a hard cap should be looked at.

Peck
08-15-2012, 11:37 AM
For one thing, he said it in the context that bolder moves would almost certainly mean committing to taking a step or two BACKWARDS this season.

For another, why would I argue with an SI article? Not like the writer is going to read my response.


But even you have to admit that this takes it out of the context of being "local conspiracy" people. I mean you now have a national writer forwarding the thought so doesn't that mean those of us who have thought that over the years aren't as crazy as some of you "not you, but the collective you" might have thought.

It doesn't help that he brought back the one person who I always accused of that behavior (until the very end, I think he really tried to be a title contender at the end of his first run).

J7F
08-15-2012, 11:52 AM
I think that is exactly the case and a few of us here have been saying that all along and some of us think it is the reason Bird quit the team.....:cool: ... Bird was all Gung Ho on coming back but wanted to talk to Simon. He had that talk and quit. You don't need a wire tap to understand what transpired. :cool: ...

It is my belief that Bird left more for medical reasons and will be back... Donnie even stated that he is just keeping his seat warm for a year... I believe it was in the interview where Donnie was explaining the offseason moves... And unless I hear straight from Bird that having his hands tied is why he left I won't believe it... And yes Blu... You do need a wire tap to know that... Minds can change awfully fast...

It is also my belief that management just made the best personel moves that were possible to be made... Am I missing some monster deal that could have been made that makes sense?

Deron wasn't a possibility due to Crooklyn being able to offer way more money... Nash would only sign with a Western team to be close to his children... Dwight would have never resigned here... And Joe Johnson (while a top 5 SG) is vastly overpaid and would have put us in financial hell... And NOLA would have just matched an offer for Gordon... Or it would have cost us good parts of our roster to get him through a trade and his injury history makes that MUCH more risky... Also Scola and Brand were not possibilities due to timing... The agents for Hill and Hibbert did not want to wait any longer...

People can claim all they want that they could do better than the person running an organization but unless you're the one sitting in that chair you don't know the entire situation like that person does... You have no idea what was discussed that was possible to be done and what advantages/disadvantages the organization is facing to make it happen...

To quote John Goodman in The Big LeBowski for those that think they could've done better or claim to KNOW management's objectives... "You're out of your element, Donnie!"

Ace E.Anderson
08-15-2012, 11:58 AM
It is my belief that Bird left more for medical reasons and will be back... Donnie even stated that he is just keeping his seat warm for a year... I believe it was in the interview where Donnie was explaining the offseason moves... And unless I hear straight from Bird that having his hands tied is why he left I won't believe it...

It is also my belief that management just made the best personel moves that were possible to be made... Am I missing some monster deal that could have been made that makes sense?

Deron wasn't a possibility due to Crooklyn being able to offer way more money... Nash would only sign with a Western team to be close to his children... Dwight would have never resigned here... And Joe Johnson (while a top 5 SG) is vastly overpaid and would have put us in financial hell... And NOLA would have just matched an offer for Gordon... Or it would have cost us good parts of our roster to get him through a trade and his injury history makes that MUCH more risky... Also Scola and Brand were not possibilities due to timing... The agents for Hill and Hibbert did not want to wait any longer...

People can claim all they want that they could do better than the person running an organization but unless you're the one sitting in that chair you don't know the entire situation like that person does... You have no idea what was discussed that was possible to be done and what advantages/disadvantages the organization is facing to make it happen...

To quote John Goodman in The Big LeBowski for those that think they could've done better or claim to KNOW management's objectives... "You're out of your element, Donnie!"

CHURCH!!!!!

WHAT I HAVE BEEN PREACHING ALL SUMMER!! Thank you sir!

vnzla81
08-15-2012, 12:51 PM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two roundsí worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?

Nobody made a huge deal about it because that's how the majority of the people feel about the team, by just reading PD I can tell that many posters are just happy to be competitive and be the "under dogs" every year.

The Pacers to me have done a great job in creating this illusion that been "under dogs" is great, they also use the "small market" excuse pretty well and now with the new CBA they are going to have an even bigger excuse to be "under dogs" for a long time(because they get money at the end of the year not matter what) why lose money to win a championship when you can make money by been "under dogs"? smart business if you ask me.

BillS
08-15-2012, 12:54 PM
But even you have to admit that this takes it out of the context of being "local conspiracy" people. I mean you now have a national writer forwarding the thought so doesn't that mean those of us who have thought that over the years aren't as crazy as some of you "not you, but the collective you" might have thought.

It doesn't help that he brought back the one person who I always accused of that behavior (until the very end, I think he really tried to be a title contender at the end of his first run).

It also isn't a thought you have to dig deep into mountains of research to come up with. A team that has had pretty much the worst attendance in the league over the last 5 years and finally pulled itself into contention is ALWAYS going to face a very tough decision when it comes to taking a huge risk the very next year and going back into the basement of attendance instead of building on it. It's not like somehow the Pacers are the only team ever faced with it or who ever will be faced with it. It also it isn't like it's a no-brainer that you shoot for the moon and expect fans to stick with you if it blows up in your face and you go 20-62 after dumping fan favorite players for guys with (unrealized) upside.

But we're back to the basic argument. Risking the future of the franchise on a championship or (quite literally) bust is to some folks the only way to run a team and to other folks an unacceptable risk at the best of times. Trying to build on success before going for the championship is a better economic decision for some and a cop-out for others. I don't know how you change anyone's mind when the 1999-2000 Finals team isn't considered a good enough example of how building toward a championship could work. Again, for some around here, "try" doesn't exist - either you succeeded or you sat on your rear making no deals, raking in money and laughing all the way to the bank with your useless second-round team.

I won't argue against anyone saying they played it safe this year. I WILL argue against people saying it shows that ownership simply isn't interested in a championship, they just want to make safe money - mainly because I defy anyone to FIND safe money around here that doesn't have a Colts horseshoe already on it.

Peck
08-15-2012, 12:56 PM
Nobody made a huge deal about it because that's how the majority of the people feel about the team, by just reading PD I can tell that many posters are just happy to be competitive and be the "under dogs" every year.

The Pacers to me have done a great job in creating this illusion that been "under dogs" is great, they also use the "small market" excuse pretty well and now with the new CBA they are going to have an even bigger excuse to be "under dogs" for a long time(because they get money at the end of the year not matter what) why lose money to win a championship when you can make money by been "under dogs"? smart business if you ask me.

Your going to take a lot of guff for this statement from some but if we are being honest I think there might be some truth to that last paragraph of yours.

vnzla81
08-15-2012, 01:00 PM
Your going to take a lot of guff for this statement from some but if we are being honest I think there might be some truth to that last paragraph of yours.

Yep and as a "business man" I agree with the Pacers FO but as a fan I hate it.

BillS
08-15-2012, 01:04 PM
Nobody made a huge deal about it because that's how the majority of the people feel about the team, by just reading PD I can tell that many posters are just happy to be competitive and be the "under dogs" every year.

The Pacers to me have done a great job in creating this illusion that been "under dogs" is great, they also use the "small market" excuse pretty well and now with the new CBA they are going to have an even bigger excuse to be "under dogs" for a long time(because they get money at the end of the year not matter what) why lose money to win a championship when you can make money by been "under dogs"? smart business if you ask me.

And this is where I start to get :pissed:. It is not like the only way to win a championship is to go for a home run signing of one or two stars. Heck, it's not even like teams with one or two stars are guaranteed to get a championship (Cavs? Knicks? Thunder for crying out loud?)

The response seems to always be, "well, you didn't risk messing up the whole season so you are clearly satisfied with being competitive and being the 'under dog'. Wouldn't it be better to spend 5 years winning 10 games a year and finally win the lottery and get the superstar so the Las Vegas Pacers will be champions? After all, that's the ONLY WAY to win!"

What I'm satisfied with is BUILDING a guaranteed high contending team (and you are joking if you say you have a way of building a guaranteed CHAMPIONSHIP team), especially now when we are coming out of the doldrums. To remain a team in Indianapolis we have to guarantee fans that good things will happen rather than hitting them with another year where their expectations are completely hosed up and no one knows whether to attend games or not until after the All-Star break - again.

If you are accusing Simon of being Donald Sterling and only in it to make profits, I'm thinking you are sadly mistaken.

vnzla81
08-15-2012, 01:27 PM
=BillS;1493693]And this is where I start to get :pissed:. It is not like the only way to win a championship is to go for a home run signing of one or two stars. Heck, it's not even like teams with one or two stars are guaranteed to get a championship (Cavs? Knicks? Thunder for crying out loud?)

You need stars to win a championship that has always been the case, even Detroit had a bunch of stars(all five starters were at least one time all stars)



The response seems to always be, "well, you didn't risk messing up the whole season so you are clearly satisfied with being competitive and being the 'under dog'. Wouldn't it be better to spend 5 years winning 10 games a year and finally win the lottery and get the superstar so the Las Vegas Pacers will be champions? After all, that's the ONLY WAY to win!"

Way better than winning 30 games for 5 years, they were not even "under dogs".


What I'm satisfied with is BUILDING a guaranteed high contending team (and you are joking if you say you have a way of building a guaranteed CHAMPIONSHIP team), especially now when we are coming out of the doldrums. To remain a team in Indianapolis we have to guarantee fans that good things will happen rather than hitting them with another year where their expectations are completely hosed up and no one knows whether to attend games or not until after the All-Star break - again.

And you are making my point about how many fans feel, you are satisfied with "building a high contending team"


If you are accusing Simon of being Donald Sterling and only in it to make profits, I'm thinking you are sadly mistaken.

With the new CBA he might become the "new Donald sterling" why wouldn't he do that? he is making money by staying in the middle, why push it and lose money? so far he hasn't prove otherwise.

Ace E.Anderson
08-15-2012, 01:33 PM
When I hear that the team is okay with being competitive and not really going for a championship, I guess I don't fully understand that way of thinking. Take the Magic for example, they turned down countless trade proposals for D12 before ultimately trading him for basically a bunch of mid round draft picks, and 3rd tier talent. They are OBVIOUSLY bottoming out in hopes of getting a couple of early lotto picks and hopefully drafting a superstar. So in essence they chose to go the route of not trading for players that would help them remain competitive, in hopes that they strike the mother-load in the draft. That, to me, is the definition of not going for a championship and simply cashing the fan's checks.

Let's be clear here. I'm sure if any superstar came out and said "I want to be traded to Indiana", then the team would be doing what they could to acquire that player. (And no I don't mean an injury prone RFA like EG where the Hornets were going to match any offer, and we'd be in bad shape with our own FA's) Remember the whole presentation the Pacers gave to Nene last year during FA? Though he's not a superstar by any meansl, the Pacers thought he was a REALISTIC and major upgrade; and they aggressively pursued him. I'd think if If we had a realistic shot at signing a Deron Williams or a player of that caliber, we would be pushing to make that happen in the very same way.

As long as that's the case, I don't see why one would think we are 100% content with being "competitive" while not being interested in going for a championship. There's a difference between trying to be patient and build with the resources you have, and not making a move to improve because you're content with 44-50 wins a year and that's it.

Least that's the way I see it.

Rogco
08-15-2012, 01:40 PM
Thought the article was pretty fair, though it seemed to pointedly ignore how Plumlee would be revolutionizing the back-up, back-up center position.

rm1369
08-15-2012, 11:06 PM
It also isn't a thought you have to dig deep into mountains of research to come up with. A team that has had pretty much the worst attendance in the league over the last 5 years and finally pulled itself into contention is ALWAYS going to face a very tough decision when it comes to taking a huge risk the very next year and going back into the basement of attendance instead of building on it. It's not like somehow the Pacers are the only team ever faced with it or who ever will be faced with it. It also it isn't like it's a no-brainer that you shoot for the moon and expect fans to stick with you if it blows up in your face and you go 20-62 after dumping fan favorite players for guys with (unrealized) upside.


Of course they should have went 20-62 when they were one of the worst teams in the league instead of playing Troy, Dun, and DG 36+ mins a night to make runs at the end of lost seasons. You're right - they are pregnant now. They can't afford to make a bold move and take a step back. But according to many on here, once they became decent and had money they would have a chance to land and impact FA or use their cap space / expiring deals to acquire top level talent. Not surprisingly neither occurred. IMO, it's not hard to see - if the Pacers are to ever win an NBA championship they will have to have drafted their best players. They aren't going to acquire top level talent any other way. They failed to maximize their time at the bottom and we will have a good but not great team to watch until the salary structure forces them to start over. I can only hope that they are both bold enough and lucky enough to make the most of it next time around.

And you are correct that there is no gaurenteed way to build a championship team. It's a ridiculous argument and I assume you know it. I can however gaurentee you that the team they have built will not win a title.

vnzla81
08-15-2012, 11:43 PM
And to ad to Bills comments about that if the Pacers have only won 10 games a year for five year they would be in Vegas and not here I also have to disagree with that, nobody and I mean nobody is ever going to convince me that the clown of JOB kept the Pacers in Indiana because he was winning 30games a year instead of 10, that's crazy talk.

pogi
08-16-2012, 05:50 AM
You need stars to win a championship that has always been the case, even Detroit had a bunch of stars(all five starters were at least one time all stars)


Are you sure about this? I'm thinking only Ben and Rasheed made the all-stars

wintermute
08-16-2012, 05:54 AM
If we're talking about teams who are forgoing 40-50 wins per year in order to get a shot at a championship, Houston and Dallas have to be exhibits A and B. And interestingly they've both failed at it this year, but despite that seem to be sticking to the championship or bust strategy.

Houston just blew apart a .500 team to go all out on a trade bid for either Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum. Now that they've failed, it looks like they're going to plan B, which is to field a team full of young players (their big FA acquisitions this year are 3rd year guys, come on), develop them, and get (another) high pick. And oh, repeat the process next year, when they'll have cap space again and presumably their prospects will have grown a year in value.

Dallas is a different case because they already have a star player in Dirk. However, they still blew up a championship team in order to preserve cap space to attract a second star to pair with Dirk. They failed with Deron this year, but that didn't deter Dallas - they just filled the roster with 1 year contract guys in order to have another go with cap space next year.

So that's 2 teams who aren't content to sit around and wait for a superstar to drop in their laps. Nor are they doing it with the famous (infamous?) OKC model of being terrible before being good (though arguably Houston is heading in that direction this year). Look, I understand why we're building the team the way we are. But it's pretty obvious that we're not being as proactive as other teams.

Cubs231721
08-16-2012, 09:08 AM
Are you sure about this? I'm thinking only Ben and Rasheed made the all-stars

Not all 5 Pistons made an All-Star team, although they came close. Prince was never an All-Star (although he was an Olympian). Hamilton made the All-Star game 3 times after the title year. Billups made 5 All-Star games, all after the title year. Ben Wallace made 4 All-Star games and was the only Piston to make it the title year (it was his 2nd at the time). Rasheed made it twice before the title and twice after.

So going into the title year, the Pistons had a combined 26 years of NBA experience with 3 All-Star games. The Pacers currently have 26 combined years of NBA experience with 4 All-Star games. The Pistons average age was 26.6 with their 2 oldest players both being 29. The Pacers will have an average age of 27 this year with their 2 oldest players being 32 and 29.

I'm not saying the Pacers will morph into the Pistons. They could, but it's unlikely. But the Pistons weren't thought of as a collection of stars at the time. It was only after they made the Finals 2 years in a row did they start getting the benefit of the doubt on things like All-Star games.

BillS
08-16-2012, 11:07 AM
And you are making my point about how many fans feel, you are satisfied with "building a high contending team"

You miss my point. I don't think you CAN build anything BUT a high level contending team. There is no guaranteed way to build a championship team - all you can do is build a team that contends for a championship and then takes that step.

That's a long way from the implication that fans are fine with one-and-done in the playoffs as a definition for "contending".


With the new CBA he might become the "new Donald sterling" why wouldn't he do that? he is making money by staying in the middle, why push it and lose money? so far he hasn't prove otherwise.

Then why sign Roy to the max? Why sign Hill to a high contract? Why not just dump the high salaries for low-paid guys on their rookie contracts? The team is spending a lot more than it needs to in order to be a cash cow, according to most definitions. Get the young, exciting, cheap guys and let the fans come in droves, then get rid of them as soon as they hit their new contracts.

Simon is willing to spend money, just not the same way YOU would choose to spend the money.

doctor-h
08-16-2012, 11:30 AM
1. Being good, but perhaps not great, is just fine for an ownership group that typically loses money on the team and thus needs some good community vibes and two roundsí worth of playoff gate revenue.


Hmmmm.....

I guess this just hasn't been up that long or since it's the dog days of summer not many people are paying attention to the board right now but I just find it interesting that had one of us made this very statement that there would have been people on here clamoring for their heads.

I just wonder where are the posters who get all bent out of shape when one us locals wonder aloud if being good is just good enough and that there may not be that over riding drive for excellence?

I mean that is what the guy is saying, right? He is just flat out saying that the Pacers are content to make the playoffs and hope for advancement but don't really feel compelled to be a championship team. Or am I reading that wrong?

That is exactly what I said Peck and I got hammered by this board. This front office is fine with being good and is not willing to take the steps to be great. They make all the excuses they can for why they cannot attract big name free agents. Money attracts big name free agents. Big name players attract national attention, that attention gets you more exposure on ESPN, TNT, and all the major networks. The Thunder became the media darling because they have players people want to watch. When you have players people want to watch, you fill your stadium and sell more merchandise. The Pacers overpaid Hibbert but probably had to. The Hill contract is very bad. He is an average player at best and most likely a sixth man on most competing teams. I like the Green signing, he has the talent to be special and is worth the risk. Augustine is probably a rental. More than likely won't be happy as a backup in the long term. Mahini could have been gotten without giving up valuable assets that could be used to gain something. The team can improve, but alot of ifs have to work out for that to happen. In my opinion, if your franchise is not willing to compete for championships, they are in this for the wrong reasons

J7F
08-16-2012, 01:48 PM
You miss my point. I don't think you CAN build anything BUT a high level contending team. There is no guaranteed way to build a championship team - all you can do is build a team that contends for a championship and then takes that step.

That's a long way from the implication that fans are fine with one-and-done in the playoffs as a definition.

Thanks again, Bill...

Nothing is guaranteed for Miami, the Lakers, OKC or anyone else... A team must simply be competitive to have a shot at a championship... A lot of things have to fall in to place for any team to win...

For those that wish we had just tanked the post-brawl years to get high draft picks for a shot at a superstar... Again nothing is guaranteed... Teams can sit in the lottery for over a decade waiting for that one special player... And with the threat of the Pacers leaving town we could not afford that...

VNLZ - You said no one can convince you that JOB saved us with 30-win seasons (even though I'm fairly certain no one can convince you of anything contrary to your opinions period) I think you aren't reading Bill correctly... The 30-win seasons and JOB did not save us... But the fact that we have quickly turned things around making us competitive has! I had the biggest smile on my face when I saw the sea of gold in the field house because fan support is SORELY needed for the Pacers to stay in Indy... Had we gone the lotto route we could have just as easily became the next Bobcats as we could have became the next Thunder... And a decade of bad draft pan outs WOULD have cost us our team...

pogi
08-16-2012, 08:30 PM
That is exactly what I said Peck and I got hammered by this board. This front office is fine with being good and is not willing to take the steps to be great. They make all the excuses they can for why they cannot attract big name free agents. Money attracts big name free agents. Big name players attract national attention, that attention gets you more exposure on ESPN, TNT, and all the major networks. The Thunder became the media darling because they have players people want to watch. When you have players people want to watch, you fill your stadium and sell more merchandise. The Pacers overpaid Hibbert but probably had to. The Hill contract is very bad. He is an average player at best and most likely a sixth man on most competing teams. I like the Green signing, he has the talent to be special and is worth the risk. Augustine is probably a rental. More than likely won't be happy as a backup in the long term. Mahini could have been gotten without giving up valuable assets that could be used to gain something. The team can improve, but alot of ifs have to work out for that to happen. In my opinion, if your franchise is not willing to compete for championships, they are in this for the wrong reasons

So do you think if we threw the bank at Dwight, or Lebron, or Wade, or Durant, or any other top 20 player, that they would come here?

OlBlu
08-16-2012, 08:32 PM
So do you think if we threw the bank at Dwight, or Lebron, or Wade, or Durant, or any other top 20 player, that they would come here?

Of course they would not have come to Indiana. That has always been the problem and we have to overpay to get players and keep the ones we have....:cool: