Who Will Win Battles For Final Roster Spots?
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Q. As I'm looking through the roster of 18 guys, I'm pretty sure I can guess the three guys that will be released and two guys that would not be active when the season starts. My guess is that John Edwards, Josh Powell, and maybe Orien Greene will be released.
Edwards was just a throw-in for the Al Harrington deal, and so was Powell in the deal that brought Darrell Armstrong here. Greene is not a bad player, but I think the Pacers would rather have Snap Hunter on their roster than Greene. They shouldn't let Hunter down after he finally made it to the NBA at the age of 29! I think Hunter and Rawle Marshall will be kept but not be on the active roster. That leaves my biggest question: Who else would not be on the 12-man roster when the season begins?
Are my projections correct? (From Evan in Fishers, Ind.)
A. To provide an educated answer to this question, I probably ought to watch a practice or two. But what the heck, you asked, and this is what I do, so …
The addition of Sean Lampley, signed Monday, brings the training camp roster to 19, so at least four players will have to be released before the season begins. The Pacers will carry 12 on the active roster and up to three on the inactive list. Though the rotations remain to be determined, almost all of the roster spots appear to be locked up.
Veterans Darrell Armstrong, Marquis Daniels, Jeff Foster, Danny Granger, Al Harrington, David Harrison, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley occupy 10 spots.
Rookies Shawne Williams and James White bring the number to 12, and free agent signee Maceo Baston makes 13. That leaves Edwards, Greene, Hunter, Lampley, Marshall and Powell battling for up to two jobs.
Though the Pacers could use an additional big body, they'd prefer more of a defensive presence and Edwards doesn't fit that profile. Greene, a large-framed defensive ace, and Hunter, a prolific scorer, could battle for the final point-guard spot.
Marshall has been impressive in pre-camp workouts but the Pacers already have two guys of his profile (6-7, 190) locked in (Daniels and White). Powell also has opened some eyes in the workouts and will need to keep that up in camp. Lampley is something of a wild card, a 6-6 bull that needs to show he can play both forward spots.
As for speculating just who'll win those battles, it's far too early to hazard a guess. The 12-man roster will depend largely on injuries or the lack thereof. The other three spots, two of each appear to be very much up for grabs, could also be influenced by needs that arise from health issues. So say stuned and by all means check back later in the month. By then, I'll actually have seen some practices and maybe even a game or two, so the guessing will be a little more educated.