The makeover isn't complete, but Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird sees the two recent trades that became official Wednesday as major steps toward rebuilding a team that missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
In Bird's view, the seven players the Pacers acquired add speed, flexibility, defense in the post, the chance for a young group to grow together and salary-cap space in the near future.
And, Bird acknowledged, the moves signal the end of the Jamaal Tinsley era.
Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said the point guard spot was solidified with the mix of newcomers T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack and second-year Pacer Travis Diener. There was no mention of Tinsley, who has played an average of just 49 games for the team the past five seasons because of various injuries.
"We're trying to do some things to see what's out there for Jamaal and hopefully we can get something done," Bird said. "Jamaal's been great for us. Unfortunately, he's been injured from time to time. He's still a great basketball player, but Jimmy's right. We're probably going in a different direction."
Wednesday was the first day the Pacers were allowed to comment on the trades because of NBA restrictions.
Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic forward Maceo Baston and Georgetown center Roy Hibbert, the 17th draft pick, come to the Pacers from Toronto in the Jermaine O'Neal trade, made shortly before the June 26 draft. The Raptors also get the Pacers' second-round pick, Nathan Jawai.
In a draft-day deal, the Pacers received Jack, forward Josh McRoberts of Carmel High School and No. 13 pick Brandon Rush of Kansas from Portland for No. 11 pick Jerryd Bayless, a freshman guard from Arizona.
Tinsley, with three years and $21 million left on his contract, became expendable.
"We're bringing in players that we feel fit in not only with the team, but with the community," Bird said. "The best thing about it, they can play. We feel we have a nucleus of players that can help us continue to get better and hopefully in the near future get back to where we want to be."