I hope you read the MM and Wells blogs - they are always much more interesting than what they write in their regular Indystar.com articles.
I would have no real problem bringing Croshere back for the minimum - but I wouldn't get all excited about it either - I'd rather bring in someone who will fit the new NBA better.
I'm relieved to read that Daniels injury is more or different than just tendonitis. Inserting Daniels as the point guard would be interesting and I think it could work in the right offensive system and if the shooting guard is someone who can also handle the ball and who is an excellent shooter. For example a backcourt of Daniels and Ray Allen or Daniels and Joe Johnson I think would be fantastic and it would more than any other changes completely change the whole look of this Pacers team.
More than anything I hope this blog sparks some discusson, but it probably won't because it doesn't involve the Warriors and Jackson
Which way will this breeze blow?
Posted by Mark Montieth
The blog on the trade with Golden State inspired some reaction, to say the least. And solved nothing, of course. So let's get on with our lives and talk about something else _ like the trade the Pacers made with Golden State's first-round playoff opponent, Dallas, last July.
If the eight-player deal with the Warriors in January hit like a hurricane, this was more of a gentle breeze. But it could have lasting impact on the Pacers. It wasn't a gun-to-the-head deal like those involving Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson _ and the importance of that backdrop can never be underestimated _ but one the Pacers made willingly. It can therefore be judged objectively, because the playing field was level.
The Pacers sent Austin Croshere to the Mavericks for Marquis Daniels, a move made in their Era of Uptempo Intentions, which turned out to be more like a fleeting thought than an era. Rick Carlisle quickly reverted to his instincts and ran the offense through Jermaine O'Neal, which immediately reduced the value of Daniels. (Not to mention Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, Danny Granger, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Jeff Foster.)
Daniels had only spurts of production, averaging 7.1 points in 17.8 minutes _ both career-lows. A knee condition that had gone untreated in Dallas eventually flared and had him in and out of the lineup. He doesn't need surgery, just rest and treatment, and is expected to be healthy next season.
Croshere, meanhwhile, got stuck behind Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas' traffic jam and had his least productive season since he was a rookie, averaging 3.7 points on 35 percent shooting in 11.9 minutes per game.
Carlisle was a bit disingenuous regarding Daniels. At the end of the season he referred to his absence as a primary reason for the team not making the playoffs. During the season, however, he didn't make Daniels a regular part of the rotation until he had no choice, despite queries from management. Daniels had four DNP-CDs early in the season and was used erratically until the Jan. 17 trade with Golden State. With the new players still en route and a skeleton roster on hand, Daniels got 39 minutes the next night in Miami and scored 23 points.
He went on to average 13.2 points over a five-game stretch until his knee forced him to the sideline for eight games. He returned to average 18 points over three games _ all victories _ on 55 percent shooting, but was reinjured early in a road loss at Toronto.
He sat out the next game, scored nine points in 22 minutes in the next game against Phoenix, then had 16 points in 19 minutes in a rematch with the Suns. He aggravated his knee injury in that game, however, and was lost for the season.
The outcome of the trade for the Pacers will depend on what Daniels does in a system more suited to his skills. He's indicated he can produce. As a rookie playing for Don Nelson in Dallas, he averaged 14 points over the final 24 games and 20.7 over the final 11 when he took over at point guard for an injured Steve Nash.
He had 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals against Memphis. He had 31 points and nine rebounds at Miami. He had 33 points at Seattle. He had 14 points, nine rebounds and nine assists against Seattle.
A lot of Pacers fans are hoping Jamaal Tinsley is traded, but wondering who can be gotten to replace him. The answer might already be on the roster. Daniels can create with uncanny penetration, scoring in the lane and setting up teammates for open shots. He doesn?t have much shooting range (24 percent from the 3-point line for his career), but it's a luxury, not a necessity, for point guards to hit 3-pointers. Management wants to see if this would work, and perhaps the next coach will give it a look.
At this stage of his career, Croshere is what he is: a solid veteran who can contribute off the bench and be a productive spot starter ... a good rebounder, but a poor defender .. a below-average shooter (38 percent for his career). Daniels, who is six years younger at 26, has both intriguing history and remaining upside.
There's this, too. Croshere is a free agent after this season. He'll probably be available for something close to the veteran?s minimum. If the Pacers want him back, they can probably get him. He still owns his home in the Geist area, his wife?s family lives here and he wants to work in the Pacers' front office someday.
In that case, the Pacers would get a good player in Daniels for the small price of loaning out Croshere for one season. That would be reminiscent of when they essentially traded Mark Jackson for Jalen Rose in the summer of 1996 and then got Jackson back for spare parts mid-way through the following season.
Oh, wait. I can hear the arguments already. Croshere was a leader and Daniels is a troublemaker.
Croshere was indeed professional. But the impact of that is minimal from a bench player. There are other pros in the Pacers? locker room, too, although not enough of them, but they didn?t prevent all that went wrong last season. Ultimately, the head coach sets the tone. If he's a strong leader, most players fall in line.
It's not right, meanwhile, to portray Daniels as a thug as many fans seem anxious to do. I haven't heard anyone who knows him characterize him as anything other than a nice guy. He never had off-court issues that I'm aware of until this season. He wasn't charged with anything at Club Rio. He was charged with two misdemeanors after several fights broke out at 8 Seconds Saloon that night in February. He insists upon his innocence, and, like Tinsley, has refused a plea bargain.
Until he's found guilty of something, and something significant, it's best to reserve judgment on his character and pass judgment only on what's happened on the court _ and what could happen.
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