Team Needs: Shooters, backcourt depth
The Pacers have featured one of the deepest rosters for the past few seasons. That depth was certainly tested during the aftermath of the infamous Brawl. Had they been at full strength for the entire season, they would’ve challenged Miami and Detroit for the Eastern Conference crown. Next season will be highlighted (for better or worse) by the return of Ron Artest. If Artest can keep his cool (the standard caveat for any Artest statement), the Pacers will enjoy the services of one of the league’s best defenders. However, don’t be surprised to see Indiana ship Artest and all of his accompanying baggage for 50-cents on the dollar to some team looking to make a splash (i.e. New York or Memphis) in exchange for some shooting help. With Reggie Miller (the greatest Pacer of all-time) deciding to hang it up, the Pacers will need to find another player or two who can knock down an open three. Preferably, they would like one of those shooters to be able to fill in at the point guard position, as well. They own the 17 th pick in the draft and are enamored with Reggie Miller clone Francisco Garcia. They could also look to select a tough-as-nails small forward if they decide to part ways with Artest (Joey Graham comes to mind, if he falls to them) or draft a backup point guard with 3-point range (possibly Monta Ellis, if he’s still on the board). If Salim Stoudamire is still on the board when Indiana picks again at 46, he would be a terrific selection.