In the coming weeks the Pacers will be gearing up for the NBA draft. Along with drafting young talent the Pacers should be looking to make a few trades this off season. Using RealGM.com’s very own Trade Checker, I came up with a few deals Indiana can make to improve their chances at winning the NBA title in 2006.
Deal #1: Atlanta Hawks
F Jonathan Bender, C David Harrison and #17 Pick (’05) for F Al Harrington
The Hawks have never been a team that likes to hold on to talent, and Al Harrington has learned what the NBA is all about. Harrington wanted to play on a team that he could start for. Unfortunately, now he must realize in Atlanta he doesn’t have a shot at even making the playoffs – let alone winning an NBA championship. Pacers’ GM Donnie Walsh can pull a Danny Ainge and hit the undo button and bring former fan favorite Harrington back to Indiana where he was one of the NBA’s best sixth men. In the process Walsh gets rid of Bender, one of the biggest disappointments over the last five years.
Deal #2: New Orleans
F Jonathan Bender, C David Harrison and PG Anthony Johnson for C Jamaal Magloire and F Maciej Lampe
This trade strengthens Indiana frontline and takes care of Bender’s hefty contract. The Hornets realize that they are going nowhere in the mighty west and have already unloaded all-star Baron Davis, Magloire is likely on his way out as well. The fallback for Indiana is losing Anthony Johnson, but something of value would need to be included to get New Orleans to bite. Johnson would without a doubt become the Hornets’ starting point guard.
Deal #3: Orlando
C Scot Pollard and G Eddie Gill for F Hedo Turkoglu and G Jameer Nelson
This deal adds some outside shooting to Indiana’s roster, while helping Orlando improve their center position. Turkoglu, who was involved in the trade that brought Pollard to Indiana and sent Brad Miller to Sacramento, would be a nice addition to Indiana’s already deep bench. Sending Gill to Orlando might give him more playing time, while getting Nelson from Orlando will allow him to grow under veterans like Jamaal Tinsley and Anthony Johnson.
Deal #4: Cleveland
C Scot Pollard, G Eddie Gill and #17 Pick (’05) for G Eric Snow and F Luke Jackson
With this deal Indiana can further strengthen their point guard position and gives them the flexibility of being able to move either Tinsley or Johnson in another trade. Meanwhile, Cleveland gets the first round pick they desperately need as well as a nice back-up for injury prone Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Another possibility in the deal would be Jiri Welsch from Cleveland because of his pure shooting. In Indiana, forward Luke Jackson would be a good combination off the bench with former Oregon teammate Fred Jones, and he has the potential to become a very good player.
As you can see from the names mentioned in these mock trades, I don’t feel Indiana needs to make any major moves. A few minor adjustments at certain positions might help the team, but in the long run I feel they have one of the most talented and promising rosters in the NBA. We’ll see if Mr.Walsh and Mr. Bird agree…