No obvious holes to fill. It will be hard to improve this team at all in free agency/trades/draft. For better or worse this is what we will have when we start the next season
Jamal Tinsley - I thought he was really great at the beginning of the year. He had clearly advanced to the next level and is one of the top 5-7 PG's in the league. The injury hurts and there will probably be durability issues surrounding him the rest of his career.
Anthony Johnson - With Jamal's absence, showed me that he can fill the backup PG spot. Maybe he is a late bloomer, maybe he didn't get the chance to shine behind Kidd in NJ. It seems like given the time with Tinsley out, he grew into the role. That 4 year contract does not look so bad these days.
Eddie Gill - Just a guy as far as I'm concerned. He won't challenge for the backup spot, but Carlisle like to carry 3 PG's so I'm sure he will be here.
Stephen Jackson - Gets to fill the shoes of the most popular guy to ever don a Pacers unigorm. His FG% is a little low for my liking, but he plays good defense and can play inside or out, and will be the 3rd scoring option.
Freddie Jones - Everytime you think he's tuned the corner, he gives you pause. At times he looks like a Dwayne Wade slasher, who can slice and dice and finish with a tomohawk jam. Other times, he looks like a too small shooting guard plagued by inconsistency.
Ron Artest - Who knows where his head is, but he is vital to the Pacers success. He can really do a bit of everything. Lock down defense, rebounder, enforcer, shooter, post up. Full of intangibles.
James Jones - Remember when this guy was drafted. The Pacers had Artest, Harrington, and Bender and they went out and drafted the best player available - another SF. The best suprise of the Pacers season. Shoots like a SG, rebounds like a PF. If JB is healthy who is the backup?
Jonathan Bender - The Bender bandwagon isn't very crowded these days. All the potential seems less promising, but if he is healthy, he can no doubt contribute at the SF and PF spots.
Jermaine O'Neal - Its his team now. Unquestionably. Injury hurt him toward the end. Great offensively, though his FG% is still lower than I would like. Good defender and leadership
Austin Croshere - One spot that seems lacking is the backup PF spot. Austin is what he is. Not quick enough to play SF, not big/strong enough to play PF. Can still contribute but the Pacers would like to unload the contract.
Jeff Foster - Has value as a rebounder. Decent defense. Not much on offense and I wish he would block more shots.
Dale Davis - Had more in the tank than I thought. Can he still contibute more than 15 minutes a game over the course of a season
David Harrison - Showed a lot of promise early on before freaky concussion injury. Hopefully will move into backup center role as the season goes on. Work ethic and playing shape could be concern.
Scot Pollard - Back problems will likely never go away. Would seem to be the odd guy out, though he couls see time if Davis plays more at the PF spot.
That's 14 guys. Two of these guys will be on IR (insert Bender and Pollard comments here). The 15th guy really does not matter - it will likely be our draft pick
So, where do the Pacers upgrade? I think drafting a backup PF that has some offense would be the best bet. Nobody other than Artest seems likely to be traded and for the record I think Artest will be with the Pacers this upcoming year.
The good news is the Pacers seem to be set at every position. The bad news is that there is not a spot where they can go get a guy that will be much better than the guy already there. Which leads to the ovious question. Is the team above good enought to win it all?