Despite Foster returning......I stil think that we should try to upgrade the backup Center in the frontcourt......especially in light of the lingering health issues of all 3 of our Centers.
IMHO...we still need a guy that can be effective ( who can rebound and block shots ) on the floor without having the balls in his hands. All of our Centers now are capable of doing that......the only problem is that they are often injured in some way and therefore not as productive as they could be to the team.
To me....the best Center / PF / Big Man that we should trade for should do something similiar to what Foster is able to provide:
- sufficient defense against Big Men
- ( hopefully ) some additional shotblocking
- relatively healthy
- good locker-room guy ( that immediately excludes Fortson )
Although scoring is always a plus....I don't think we need another scorer on the team ( and therefore not a requirement ).
Going through the rosters of the NBA....the only players that I feel that we can possibly get this season before the trade deadline are:
- PJ Brown ( PF/C - Hornets )
Easily the best player that we should get that would fill the "Dale Davis" role that we lost last year. He's a player that can backup both PF/C positions, provide veteran leadership, doesn't complain, provides consistent play, some shotblocking, solid rebounding and some decent scoring for a Big Man. The only problem is that its unclear whether the Hornets would want to part with him as he is their only Big Man left next to David West.
- Kelvin Cato or Tony Battie ( PF/C - Magic )
Both are players are the type of rebounding/shotblocking type players that I wouldn't mind having. But same problem here.....I don't konw what the Magic would want or if they would want to part with what makes up a acceptable but solid Center rotation.
- Theo Ratlif ( PF/C - Blazers )
Outside of Ben Wallace....in his younger years.....Ratliff is exactly what we would need.....an above average defender that can rebound and blockshots like crazy. The problem with him is that he has a huge contract over the next 2 years and does have a tendency to get injured.
Pollard ( despite being the Center that we pull out when we play Shaq ) along with his expiring contract....is the most logical Big Man to ship out alongside any combination of Freddie, AJ and Gill. I'm trying to figure out what backup Center / PF ( if possible ) that the Pacers can reasonably get based off of who I feel that we can trade by this years deadline. I know we would have to give up the only player that we can that can defend Shaq.....but when trading Big Men...you usually have to give up one in return. Also....I know its not desireable....but I think that if we were to go to the Magic or Hornets and offer any 2 combinations of the players above and include our 1st round draft pick for the next season.......we may have a good chance of getting Brown, Cato or Battie.
If you can come up with any other Center/PF that you think we can reasonably get....then let me know. We're essentially looking at upgrading Pollard who is a solid...but injury prone Backup Center.