....or what would you do differently?
I'd have to say my complaint with the Pacers would be they never take an immediate shot at improving the team unless there is no downside ((IE: Dale Davis at or near vet minimum $$ prorated to final 1/3rd of the season). ...Or things had gotten so bad there was no reason not to do something or they downright HAD to do something (Chicago trade)).
IOW, dollars are played close to the vest in that regard. That part could be understandable BUT dollars are not played close to the vest when it comes to overpaying our own for the future to the point that it handcuffs us into having zero flexibility to improve our immediate lot. Therefore, I don't see money as the overriding issue. There's money there, it's just questionable to me how it is allocated.
Some could argue Bender was a 'championship' gamble. IMHO, Bender was another move for the future. He would never help the existing (at the time) team to a championship. He could only hurt them because he offered nothing that they needed while in their immediate window. And he came at a price, not just a blown draft pick.
Our major moves and signings always seem to be for benefits several years down the road, not the immediate future. IMHO, that is why we end up with unbalanced rosters because the future doesn't always work out as planned.
IOW... We're a team that is always built for "next year". Is it any wonder we are always saying "Wait'll next year!"?