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Thread: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

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    Default Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Much of this may have already been said, but I've been on vacation and I haven't had time to keep up with everything. Here's my thoughts on everything so far.


    To agree with much of what I'm going to say here, you've got to agree with one basic premise or assumption: Larry Bird and the Simon's have come together and decided that a “tear it down and rebuild from scratch” model is not in the best interests of the franchise. While many might disagree with their conclusion, it's understandable from both perspectives. The Simons want the Pacers to be a profitable business. They are, first and foremost, businessmen who are highly motivated by profit. Undergoing a long and slow rebuilding process doesn't make sense for a team that had the worst attendance in the NBA while gunning for a playoff spot. From Bird's perspective, rebuilding is always a risky proposition for a GM. Also, he hates to lose. I have no doubt that the last two seasons have been incredibly painful for him.


    For those reasons, they decided that the best approach for the Pacers was to be a better team next year than they were this year while trying to build for the future in the process. A “rebuild on the fly”, much like Walsh did in the 90's. The major difference this time is that character will be a primary concern in evaluating players.


    With this in mind, we have two questions to answer when evaluating the offseason moves: Will the Pacers be better next year? Has the trade diminished the team's future prospects for success?


    Both of those questions can be answered with a resounding yes when evaluating both the Portland and Toronto trades.


    1. The Pacers are no longer relying on injury-prone/unreliable players.


    For the past two seasons, the Pacers success has been tied to the health and effective play of O'Neal and Tinsley. These two players have proven that this is a bad strategy. Last season JO played in 42 games, and played less than 30 minutes in 23 of those games. Tinsley played in 39 games. Any team in the NBA would be hampered by losing 2 of it's 4 most talented players for at least the season. Since both players have a well-documented history of unreliability, Bird has made an excellent decision in no longer choosing to count on these guys.


    O'Neal is off to Toronto and Tinsley appears to be the 4th string PG right now. I don't think there's anyone who expects him to be on the roster at the beginning of the season.


    2. The team has improved at 4 positions this offseason.


    PG: With the additions of TJ Ford and Jarrett Jack, PG has gone from a position of weakness to a position of strength. It's the strongest group of PG's the Pacers have had since Mark Jackson and Travis Best. Even if TJ Ford misses a few games, which should be expected, Jack has missed only 6 games in 3 seasons. With Ford out, a Jack/Diener backcourt is still a dramatic improvement over what we had last year. Jack is also the exact type of PG that people like Tbird were saying needed to be paired with Ford. He's big, strong, reliable and a good defender. He can hold his own against big PG's like Billups and Deron Williams, and, while he's not nearly as creative as Ford, he's still an asset on the offensive end of the floor.


    SG: Brandon Rush is an upgrade over any back-up SG the Pacers played last season. He'll quickly prove to be a more effective player than his brother, Marquis Daniels, and Flip Murray. In addition to Rush, Jack has the ability to play SG if he needs to. At 6'3”, he's a bit undersized, but his strength and defensive intensity generally make up for his lack of height.


    SF: While no SF's have been added to the roster, the addition of Rush will likely mean more minutes at the SF position for Dunleavy. Also, Rush is big enough to play SF.


    C: The Pacers were a very effective team last year when David Harrison played well. Harrison is likely gone, but Nesterovic and Hibbert will both prove to be more effective players.


    O'Neal only played 30.6% of the avaialble minutes at the PF position last season, so his loss shouldn't be too substantial. Also, Troy Murphy is arguably 2nd best PF in the Central division right now, behind only Rasheed Wallace.


    Other reasons to like the moves, thoughts on Rush, Hibbert, Bayless, and Diogu:


    The perimeter defense will be much, much better with Ford, Jack, and B. Rush.


    We won't have to see Daniels, Murray, or Tinsley play PG for the Pacers again.


    Troy Murphy will no longer be played as a center.


    I really like Brandon Rush. I think he's a good player now who has more development potential than most people expect. I'd compare him to Granger that way. Danny had a fairly well-developed and polished game coming out of college, but his hard work and smarts have helped him to become a better player than most people would have ever projected. Rush has a similar work ethic and intelligence level. I think he could become a Shane Battier type player (or better) who isn't a star but who undoubtedly helps his team win games. One thing that Jonathan Givony pointed out about Rush on the NBATV draft preview show is that he was coming off a knee injury last year and is potentially a more explosive and athletic player than we saw during the season.


    I also like Hibbert. I see a lot of Brad Miller in Hibbert. I just hope that he develops Brad's mean streak. Hibbert is a highly skilled player. He's got a good jump shot and is a good passer. His lack of rebounding worries me a bit, but that could be due to the system he played in.


    I liked Ike, but apparently Larry and Jim had decided he was never going to amount to anything in this system. If that's so, I'm glad they moved him along.


    I was never that impressed by Bayless last season, but I only watched a couple of games. I was excited when we drafted him, but not upset with the trade at all.


    I'll end with a couple of guarantees:

    1. Brandon Rush will be more important to the Pacers in 08-09 than Jerryd Bayless will be to the Blazers.
    2. Jarrett Jack will be more important to the Pacers in than Ike Diogu will be to the Blazers.
    Last edited by OakMoses; 07-03-2008 at 12:55 PM.
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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Good post, but help me understand this:

    With this in mind, we have two questions to answer when evaluating the offseason moves: Will the Pacers be better next year? Has the diminished the team's future prospects for success?

    Both of those questions can be answered with a resounding yes when evaluating both the Portland and Toronto trades.
    Are you saying these moves have diminished the Pacers' chance of success in the future?

    It seems incongruent with the overall upbeat attitude of your post, which I find impressive and largely agree with.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Good post, but help me understand this:



    Are you saying these moves have diminished the Pacers' chance of success in the future?

    It seems incongruent with the overall upbeat attitude of your post, which I find impressive and largely agree with.
    No, It's a question to use when evaluating a trade. It should read "Has the trade diminished the Pacers' chance of success in the future?"

    I don't think either trade has.

    Thanks for pointing it out, I'll edit the original.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    No, It's a question to use when evaluating a trade. It should read "Has the trade diminished the Pacers' chance of success in the future?"

    I don't think either trade has.

    Thanks for pointing it out, I'll edit the original.
    I thought that's the question you were asking, but when you say "the answer to both is a resounding yes", you're actually saying "Yes, the trades have made the Pacers better" and "Yes, the trades have diminished the Pacers' chance of success in the future."

    However, I think you're actually trying to say that yes, the trades improved the Pacers, but No, the trades did not diminish the Pacers' chance of future success.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Good points, although Ford is an injury risk. I think we improved our PG dramatically and SG situation as well. Our front court situation is a little less clear...and probably depends on how much Hibbert contributes. We already know what Rasho can do.

    All things considered, I expect this team to be better than last year primarily because of our improvements in the back court. TJ Ford is a guy who could make a significant difference.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    I think we'll be better because our main guys will probably play. Just the cohesion will be enough for 5 wins, I'd think.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Dunleavy and Granger should be better than last year, too.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    I'll end with a couple of guarantees:

    1. Brandon Rush will be more important to the Pacers in 08-09 than Jerryd Bayless will be to the Blazers.
    2. Jarrett Jack will be more important to the Pacers in than Ike Diogu will be to the Blazers.
    Your second guarantee is not too earth-shattering. Diogu is not even a sure thing to make the Blazers' roster, and is a longshot to get much playing time.

    Your first guarantee is crazy and unlikely to come true. Bayless will be counted on for less because he has far superior teammates than Rush has. Despite that, Bayless has a good chance to become an NBA star, while Rush is a Rush, meaning that there's a good chance that he won't live up to his pre-draft hype, just like his brothers.

    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.
    I'm sorry but I think some people around here are over-estimating Bayless. I'm sure a guard with "CP3 skills and a better shot" wouldn't have slipped to number 11 in the draft.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Roy M-

    Without attempting to weigh in on the Rush v Bayless contrast, I
    don't see how anyone can even begin to compare Bayless with
    Chris Paul. It's ridiculous.

    Paul is a prodigy at the PG spot in terms of innate instincts, decision
    making and elevating the play of his teamates, etc. If he had, say, the
    size and raw athleticism of Rose, he'd have a legit shot at ending up
    as the best PG ever. As it is, he's the best in the NBA right now.

    Bayless has barely even played the position. He's years away from
    being anything close to Chris Paul in those areas. And since he
    likely won't be asked to do much other than score and play off
    of Brandon Roy in Portland, he has almost no shot of ever
    developing at PG to anywhere near that extent.

    I expect Bayless to be a very nice NBA player. He may end up being
    a more well rounded Ben Gordon or a Marbury with a brain. But he's
    not gonna be on a level with Chris Paul.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot.
    This is perhaps the silliest thing I've heard in a long, long time.

    Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.
    I don't see what his tattoos have to do with this.
    Last edited by count55; 07-03-2008 at 09:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by NZPacer View Post
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    I'm sure a guard with "CP3 skills and a better shot" wouldn't have slipped to number 11 in the draft.
    Not that I totally agree with Roy, but it's still hard to believe Paul slipped past #1 on draft night.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.
    This may be one of the most ignorant things I have read on a message board.

    Chris Paul is a pure point guard, the hope is that Jerryd Bayless can become a point guard. The best aspect of Bayless' game is his jumpshot, while that was the main concern (other than size) surrounding Paul when he was drafted.

    They couldn't be more different players, other than the fact that they are both fast.

    TJ Ford is a heck of a lot more like Paul than Bayless.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Not that I totally agree with Roy, but it's still hard to believe Paul slipped past #1 on draft night.
    Exhibit A - 7-footer (people are stupid about 7-footers)

    Exhibit B - The Atlanta Hawks

    Williams and Paul were an interesting debate at the time. I was a Williams fan, and I think a lot of people liked him because of his size. I'm still a huge Deron Williams fan, but it's clear that Paul has become the better player (and better than I ever expected).

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    I was shocked when Paul was not the consensus number 1 at the time, and I didn't see the hype with Deron and I thought he'd bust.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    Your first guarantee is crazy and unlikely to come true. Bayless will be counted on for less because he has far superior teammates than Rush has. Despite that, Bayless has a good chance to become an NBA star, while Rush is a Rush, meaning that there's a good chance that he won't live up to his pre-draft hype, just like his brothers..
    Reading comprehension is hard. He very specifically stated the 08-09 season, not career. Seems fairly likely that he will be correct considering the two teams rosters. You need to let your anger at the trade chill, it is clouding your cognitive abilities.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.
    I know you don't want to hear it, but Rush has Kobe Bryant skills with a better shot. Bayless has "Dajuan Wagner" written all over him.

    Just because I say it doesn't make it true.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac View Post
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    This may be one of the most ignorant things I have read on a message board.

    Chris Paul is a pure point guard, the hope is that Jerryd Bayless can become a point guard. The best aspect of Bayless' game is his jumpshot, while that was the main concern (other than size) surrounding Paul when he was drafted.

    They couldn't be more different players, other than the fact that they are both fast.

    TJ Ford is a heck of a lot more like Paul than Bayless.
    I trust Kevin Pritchard's ability to evaluate players a lot more than I trust Larry Bird's ability. If Pritchard thought Bayless was the fourth best player in the draft, I expect that he'll be pretty good.

    And for that matter, I trust Pritchard's evaluation skills a lot more than I trust yours. Come back at the end of the next season and remind me how ignorant my statement was.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    I'm not saying Bayless won't be a good player, I think he'll be excellent.

    The point is that he's nothing like Chris Paul.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    1. The Pacers are no longer relying on injury-prone/unreliable players.
    You'll definitely be relying on one who's injury prone. He's your starting PG.


    Also, Troy Murphy is arguably 2nd best PF in the Central division right now, behind only Rasheed Wallace.
    That's quite the argument

    1. Brandon Rush will be more important to the Pacers in 08-09 than Jerryd Bayless will be to the Blazers.
    2. Jarrett Jack will be more important to the Pacers in than Ike Diogu will be to the Blazers.
    Given the fact that the Blazers already have the likes of Oden, Aldridge, Roy, Blake, Outlaw and Fernandez, that's not saying much. Ike probably won't even sniff the court. If you're Nate McMillan, why would you let him with the guys you've got in front of him?
    Last edited by d_c; 07-04-2008 at 03:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    1. Ike is due to make about 4m this coming year so he will be on the roster.
    2. Kevin Pritchard looks like a hero, not hard when you are selecting 1st 2nd or 3rd. The talent level is remarkable better.
    3. Bayless has a chance to be a great player, so does B.Rush. This trade, however it pans out will not decide who's the better GM.
    4.We had a PG coming (Ford) we needed another (Jack) and we needed a
    SG and Rush is very good.
    5.Hibbert could turn out to be the best out of all of them.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Chris Paul is not just one of the best players in the league right now. He appears to be one of the best PG's of all time...if he simply stays the course. I was not really convinced of that until I began following him more closely after reading some of the wild statements being made about him. IOW, I reluctantly became a believer.

    Anyway, to compare a combo guard with questionable PG skills to someone who may be one of the greatest PG's of all time is so way over the top it's not even funny.

    Now, Kevin Prichard clearly appears to be a good GM. On a side note, I personally knew him when he was like 12 years old. He went to Noblesville Schools just north of Indianapolis. The guy has obviously made good for himself, but like everyone else, no, he has no crystal ball. Some of his decisions have yet to be judged. For a big one, picking Oden over Durant could turn out to be a colossal mistake. We will soon know whether that pick was the right one. All I know is, Oden didn't contribute anything last year and is not polished at all on offense. Even our #17 pick stood toe to toe with him and arguably outplayed him. IMO, they should have taken Durant who will be an absolutely dominant scorer as early as this year.

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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    You'll definitely be relying on one who's injury prone. He's your starting PG.
    I know that, but a) he's more reliable than Tinsley and b) a Jack/Diener backcourt is still an improvement over what we had last year. Bird knew that Ford has injury issues, so he went out and got a starting caliber back-up PG. We never had one of those while Tinsley was here.

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    That's quite the argument
    Who is all that much better? Look at the other PF's in our division: Villanueva, Gooden, Joe Smith, Varejao, Tyrus Thomas. I'm not saying Troy's the best player in that group, I just think that you can make a cogent argument for him being better than anyone of those guys.
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    Default Re: Rays of Sun in the Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    Your second guarantee is not too earth-shattering. Diogu is not even a sure thing to make the Blazers' roster, and is a longshot to get much playing time.

    Your first guarantee is crazy and unlikely to come true. Bayless will be counted on for less because he has far superior teammates than Rush has. Despite that, Bayless has a good chance to become an NBA star, while Rush is a Rush, meaning that there's a good chance that he won't live up to his pre-draft hype, just like his brothers.

    I know you don't want to hear it, but Bayless has Chris Paul skills with a better shot. Rush has "journeyman" written all over him.
    Kareem's older brother, Jaron, wasn't even drafted.

    Your brother logic doesn't hold up well. I could name a ton more brothers who only had one great player than brothers who all played well.

    Bayless only has Steve Blake ahead of him on the rotation (assuming Bayless can even play PG). Rush has Dunleavy or Granger, two players coming off career seasons.

    I do love the Chris Paul comparison. The difference between the two is that Paul can play point in the NBA and Bayless hasn't proven himself as PG up to this point in his career.

    How does Rush have journeyman written all over him?

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