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Thread: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

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    Default Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    As I write this, 24 hours have passed since I left Conseco Fieldhouse last night. The Pacers draft night party was a great time as expected, and I greatly enjoyed seeing so many of PD members in attendance. As always, it was a huge amount of fun to discuss NBA basketball and breaking down draftees with such fun and knowledgeable people.

    Many draft nights, you get answers to questions you've been wondering about. You see how your front office thinks, you see how they evaluate players by their comments and by who they select, and you try to read between the lines to figure out what your favorite team's short and long term futures are.

    The Pacers manueverings on draft night make alot of sense on many levels, but there remain some nagging questions as we head into summer. This thread will try to ask the hard questions I have, give my opinions on what some of those answers may be, and hopefully be a conduit for intelligent discussion.

    As an aside, those of you have have messaged me requesting a detailed, in depth breakdown of Tyler Hansbrough's game will get your wish in a few days. While I ran out of personal time to do a long profile of him prior to last night, I had plenty of video and notes from both this season and last to go over, and I started this process late this afternoon. Hopefully, I can provide you (and myself) some information about Hansbrough's game that will give us some insight into how he may translate into the NBA. I hope to have that done in detail and posted by Sunday evening. As it is, I did write a small blurb in my "Best of the rest" draft thread that you can feel free to read if you want to wet your appetite for it.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I said in the title, I left draft night 24 hours ago with more questions than answers about our beloved Pacers. Here are just a few of them on my mind tonight:



    Q: What are we doing with Jarrett Jack and TJ Ford?

    A: Certainly, the last few days have given us mixed messages. It was widely assumed by most Pacers fans that the most likely scenario would be to re-sign Jack, make him a starter, trade Ford for something, and draft a point guard as our backup. Even if that exact scenario wasn't what you had in mind, clearly most want Jack to return, and in fact think it is imperative to our next season success.

    I wrote earlier in the offseason about the problems that the timeline of events could cause in this scenario. I thought then that, while it would be unpopular, that it was much more likely that Ford would come back, and that Jack would be gone, either used as salary relief or in a sign and trade deal later this summer.

    I thought that was most likely because, if you traded Ford prior to re-signing Jack, you left yourself open to possibilities that you could be caught without either one, possibly being forced to force feed another deal in a panic move, overpay for someone else, or start a rookie at the toughest position in the league to get quality play from a first year player.

    But then, the Pacers gave us little hints that they agreed with the majority of you in "your dump Ford/keep Jack" master plan. Granger mentioned that he and Jack were talking everyday in a radio interview. Soon reports would come out the Pacers were enamored with Ty Lawson and Eric Maynor. Jim O'Brien mentioned publically his desire for a bigger point guard solution. This was followed by draft gossip stories saying the Pacers were indeed shopping TJ Ford around the league as trade bait.

    Even I, who first of all knew better, and who secondly actually likes TJ Ford as a player better than Jack quite a bit, bought into the likelihood of moving Ford and keeping Jack as a very likely summer outcome, and was in my own mind trying to figure out how that decision would impact us moving forward. I was sure, and even said so publically, that we probably had a "wink and nod" agreement with Jarrett Jack to return to us when he became available in early July to sign a new deal.

    Now, I don't know what to think. We don't appear to have a clear plan where Jarrett Jack is concerned, yet I think our Pacers front office isn't that enamored with Ford either. We didn't draft a potential replacement in the first round despite the fact that this was a fairly deep draft as far as credible level point guards went.

    What we have is a mish-mash of thoughts that make no sense yet. I've been all over the map myself on how this is going to turn out, and I still don't know. If I was guessing today I'd say my original instinct was correct, that Ford will return as our starter, and that Jack will recieve an offer we deem to rich for our blood for his services, and that we will either let him go altogether, sign and trade him in such a way as to gain a valuable trade exception and/or a useful player in return.

    Trying harder to draft a point guard on draft night and ending up with a first round talent to groom as back up to either one of them would have at least made logical sense I think, not doing so leaves us with options more limited than I would like.

    My guess is that it won't be the actually amount of money per year that means we won't bring back Jack, that it will be the length of the deal someone will give him. We seem to be a team planning for the summer of 2011 and having as much cap space as possible that off-season, I'm not sure we want money committed to Jack to eat into that.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Do the Pacers somehow believe that Hansbrough and Murphy can play on the floor simultaneously and not get killed defensively?

    It isn't Hansbrough's own talents and limitations that I question at all....it's just that I had 2 qualifications I had this year for us drafting a post player. I felt that if we drafted a post player that he had to fit one of these two roles:

    1. A big man who could play defensively either at the same time as Hibbert or Murphy, with enough size and skills to be the biggest guy on the floor to split minutes with Hibbert, and to give us 10-15 minutes of backup minutes to Murphy.

    2. Or a "perimeter" type of 4 man who could defend some other smaller/quicker PF's in the league, and who could give us backup minutes at the wing spots right away, giving us alot of roster flexibility both short and long term.

    My analysis told me a player who fit the first category didn't exist in this draft, so I wanted to draft a player who fit the second one. In my view, Earl Clark and James Johnson both fit that profile. I studled Clark extensively and decided I didn't like his lack of fire and focus, and was unwilling to gamble on him. I studied Johnson as well however, and felt he was a perfect fit for what we needed to add to the mix. I don't think Johnson is going to be a superstar or anything, I just viewed him as a potential really good NBA player, ready to play immediately, in a position of need.

    But the Pacers drafted a post player who doesn't fit any of those two categories, telling me either that that wasn't how they were looking at our roster configuration, or that they think that indeed we CAN get away with a lineup playing Murphy and Hansbrough together. I just don't see that being successful in any way, shape or form.

    As our roster stands now, I understand that Hibbert is the starting center, being backed up by Foster....that isn't a great combination but it is serviceable and makes sense. But if you are financially and "scheme wise" committed to Troy Murphy to play 33 minutes per night or so, then it is hard for me to see how Tyler Hansbrough plays more than about 15 minutes per night for us.

    I guess that's ok, except I had higher hopes for what additional production I thought Johnson would have brought to us immediately.

    Murphy is unlikely to be traded, but if he would be then taking Hansbrough makes more sense short term to me. Right now, I think you have to play either one of them, but never both of them simultaneously, and it will be that way until Murphy leaves town in 2 years when his contract is up, or in the event he is dealt somehow.

    A long term front line of playing 2 of the following players would be Bird's goal it would appear:

    1. Hibbert, as a starter at the "5" spot.
    2. "Player X" as a starter at the "4" spot.
    3. Hansbrough coming in off the bench as a sub at the "4", with either "player X" sliding up to play center or taking a seat.

    Murphy is a nice enough player, but he can't be "player x" in Bird's long term vision, so at some point he is going to have to go....I just wonder when it may be.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Is the Pacers front office killing us by not looking long term with our picks, and playing it too safe?


    Actually, this is one complaint I hear that I think is complete fallacy.

    In fact, I think Hansbrough is much more of a "long term" pick made with the future in mind than most of you realize. Like I posted up above, Bird seemingly made this pick not with 2009-2010 in mind, but with 2011-2012 squarely in his sights. This may run contrary to popular belief, but I don't see how it can be argued. Hansbrough will be much more important to our team in 2 years than he will be this year, where I think he could be used for pretty limited minutes, playing only when Murphy is out of the game.

    In fact, while I think James Johnson made more sense for this season, even I can see where Bird is going long term with his vision for how this team will be built, and in that vision it is very likely Hansbrough will be a very nice cog of a well oiled, well thought out, highly efficient machine of a basketball team.

    Now, whether Larry Bird's vision of how to build a basketball a team is too "80's/90's" to be successful in a new century is something that can be debated long into the future.

    Clearly, Larry Bird values role players, players whose size and measurables "fit" into pre determined categories, values character and production over potential and flash, likes "positional purity" over multi dimensional guys who play many positions. He clearly sees the game and its players divided up into the traditional ways of "point guards, wings, and post players" instead of all of the "4 out 1 in" styles we see now coming into fashion.

    Whether that rigid of an interpretation will work as well now as it did when Larry played and coached remains to be seen.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Will Jim O'Brien be our coach in 2010-2011?

    I doubt it. Despite public statements to the contrary, I actually don't think our coaching staff and front office see the game the same way. JOB will be under the gun to change his team defensive schemes to more of what Bird himself prefers (you can go back in time and read some of my Pacers team defense threads from last season to hear more about that in detail), and to play Hansbrough more minutes than O'Brien himself will probably be comfortable with. All of that joined by what could be another season of limites success and a restless fanbase I would guess could lead to a mid season coaching change this year, although I hope things don't go that sour that quickly.

    Barring something strangely optimistic or something gone horribly wrong, my guess is that we will be looking for a new coach next spring. But it is clearly a murky question with little hope for clarity anytime soon.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Did drafting Hansbrough have anything to do with marketing concerns and regaining the casual fan in Indiana?

    I think it absolutely did, no matter what you may hear about this being a purely basketball decision.

    While drafting Hansbrough may not have been immensely popular with some of our hard core Pacers fans that populate this board, among the casual fans of Indiana, "Psycho T" will be a major plus.

    1. Drafting a well known college player universally known for winning a national championship, being a college All American, and having the reputation of being the "hardest working man in college basketball" may all be hocus pocus to us, but to the casual fan they are by and large ecstatic with this selection.

    2. Kids and their parents/coaches are going to take to Hansbrough. His cool nickname, his tough guy attitude, and over the top enthusiasm for playing are going to make him very marketable to both an older and younger demographic. He will remind older fans of what they consider to be true "throwback" type players, and his style will impress the youngsters. In marketing, you always want to get as many kids to buy your brand and develop loyalty, and in general it is older fans who have both the time and money to attend games and buy merchandise. Hansbrough is a single or double in terms of a draft pick on the floor probably, but in this state, for this team, he is a home run from a business perspective.

    I can already see "Psycho T" tee shirts, jerseys, bobbleheads, posters, and whatever else Jim Morris can think of being big sellers this summer and next fall to kids all over Indiana. Winning sells better than anything else, but a well known successful player from a name brand North Carolina program certainly doesn't hurt the cause financially speaking.


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    Q. Forgetting Hansbrough for now, what in the world is up with picking AJ Price in the second round?

    This one I have no answers for. As it stands now, it only makes sense to me if the plan is to bring back Ford, let Jack go, actually use Deiner as your primary backup, and have Price as your third point guard.

    Price of course has a ton of baggage from an injury/health standpoint, and was involved in a theft scandal at UCONN as well. It isn't like Price is so overwhelmingly talented to ignore all of that risk, so the motivation for the pick is a mystery to me. The Pacers didn't work out Price in person, so it isn't like they could have been overwhelmed by some great display of hidden skills only they saw.

    Being that we only have 2 wings on our current roster, even taking a mediocre project/flyer wing player would have made a million times more sense than taking yet another point guard who I feel won't even make the roster. At least a wing player would have had a chance from a sheer numbers perspective.

    There has to be more to the story here that we don't know yet. How Price fits into whatever other plans we have this summer remains to be seen.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q. What is going to happen with Tinsley?

    A. I guess we are going to arbitration, and will make a judgment from there. His status is a giant anchor on anything else we want to do from a personnel standpoint, and needs to get resolved somehow someway.

    I have high hopes for an idiot team to emerge to trade us their trash for our trash sometime in July. I would love for the Knicks to jump in and trade us Jered Jeffries for him straight up....at least Jeffries could play a little bit in practice or something. I of course like Jeffries as a versatile perimeter defender who actually could help us as a role player, but even if I didn't I'd still do the deal just to move Jamal Tinsley out of our lives.

    If we can't deal him, we need to buy him out and get it over with. Any penny saved at this point is a penny earned, even if we have to buy him out at 95% of the total amount he is owed.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: How are we going to fill out the roster?

    I think the following things are probably true:

    1. We will only keep 14 players on our roster instead of the allowable 15, just to cut costs. If one of those ends up having to be Tinsley, that means that you'll only have 13 available players. Then you factor in Dunleavy's knee injury, and we will have little room for error as far as injuries go. (Yet more reasons to both buy out Tinsley just so we have his spot for a warm body and why a flexible player like Johnson made so much sense to me to draft)

    2. Considering they were at Conseco for the draft party despite not being under contract currently, I'd be shocked if both Graham and McRoberts don't return next season.

    3. Any free agent we sign, my guess is we only offer deals 2 years in length, so they expire the same time as most of our other "non long term future" guys. This means no big time free agents nor trades involving guys with long term contracts are coming to Indiana I predict. If your deal expires in the summer of 2011 or before, you can be traded for, otherwise happy trails!

    4. The above paragraph probably means that Jack is gone for sure, and I doubt we re-sign Daniels either. So that leaves us with this:

    PLAYERS PREDICTED TO RETURN:

    Ford, Deiner, Rush, Granger, Murphy, Hansbrough, Hibbert, Foster, Graham, McRoberts. (10 total)

    The 11th player will be whomever we trade Jarrett Jack for in a sign and trade deal.

    The 12th will be a cheaper free agent we sign for depth, probably a wing. (Gerald Green perhaps? Anthony Parker? ) Whoever it is he will be cheap.

    The 13th will be an injured Dunleavy.

    The 14th player will be Tinsley.

    We will keep the 15th spot open in case we need to make a trade where we take on an extra body, need to sign someone to a 10 day contract, or for some other unforeseen emergency.

    That roster isn't very good on paper, and is badly in need of depth and talent. Now you see why we need to get something for Tinsley done, just because of the numbers crunch.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    As always, the above was just my opinion.


    Tbird
    Last edited by thunderbird1245; 06-27-2009 at 02:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    As always, good stuff

    some feedback


    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Q: Is the Pacers front office killing us by not looking long term with our picks, and playing it too safe?


    Actually, this is one complaint I hear that I think is complete fallacy.

    In fact, I think Hansbrough is much more of a "long term" pick made with the future in mind than most of you realize. Like I posted up above, Bird seemingly made this pick not with 2009-2010 in mind, but with 2011-2012 squarely in his sights. This may run contrary to popular belief, but I don't see how it can be argued. Hansbrough will be much more important to our team in 2 years than he will be this year, where I think he could be used for pretty limited minutes, playing only when Murphy is out of the game.

    In fact, while I think James Johnson made more sense for this season, even I can see where Bird is going long term with his vision for how this team will be built, and in that vision it is very likely Hansbrough will be a very nice cog of a well oiled, well thought out, highly efficient machine of a basketball team.

    Now, whether Larry Bird's vision of how to build a basketball a team is too "80's/90's" to be successful in a new century is something that can be debated long into the future.

    Clearly, Larry Bird values role players, players whose size and measurables "fit" into pre determined categories, values character and production over potential and flash, likes "positional purity" over multi dimensional guys who play many positions. He clearly sees the game and its players divided up into the traditional ways of "point guards, wings, and post players" instead of all of the "4 out 1 in" styles we see now coming into fashion.

    Whether that rigid of an interpretation will work as well now as it did when Larry played and coached remains to be seen.
    I agree with pretty much everything here, but I don't believe Bird is quite as rigid as you see him.


    Quote Originally Posted by tbird
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    Q: Will Jim O'Brien be our coach in 2010-2011?

    I doubt it. Despite public statements to the contrary, I actually don't think our coaching staff and front office see the game the same way. JOB will be under the gun to change his team defensive schemes to more of what Bird himself prefers (you can go back in time and read some of my Pacers team defense threads from last season to hear more about that in detail), and to play Hansbrough more minutes than O'Brien himself will probably be comfortable with. All of that joined by what could be another season of limites success and a restless fanbase I would guess could lead to a mid season coaching change this year, although I hope things don't go that sour that quickly.

    Barring something strangely optimistic or something gone horribly wrong, my guess is that we will be looking for a new coach next spring. But is clearly a murky question with little hope for clarity anytime soon.
    I can't say for certain whether Obie will be back or not. A lot depends on the team's success. If they let Jack walk (which I'll get back to later), then I'd say O'Brien will be on the way out, because they'll have no chance at success.

    But, on a broader point, I really strongly disagree with your take on the dynamic between O'Brien and Bird. Clearly, this may not be a permanent pairing, but I think they have largely similar views. What you see as dissonance, I see as "violently agreeing." I don't think they have fundamental differences in how they see the game...why is probably better left for a forum party discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbird
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    Q. Forgetting Hansbrough for now, what in the world is up with picking AJ Price in the second round?

    This one I have no answers for. As it stands now, it only makes sense to me if the plan is to bring back Ford, let Jack go, actually use Deiner as your primary backup, and have Price as your third point guard.

    Price of course has a ton of baggage from an injury/health standpoint, and was involved in a theft scandal at UCONN as well. It isn't like Price is so overwhelmingly talented to ignore all of that risk, so the motivation for the pick is a mystery to me. The Pacers didn't work out Price in person, so it isn't like they could have been overwhelmed by some great display of hidden skills only they saw.

    Being that we only have 2 wings on our current roster, even taking a mediocre project/flyer wing player would have made a million times more sense than taking yet another point guard who I feel won't even make the roster. At least a wing player would have had a chance from a sheer numbers perspective.

    There has to be more to the story here that we don't know yet. How Price fits into whatever other plans we have this summer remains to be seen.
    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. It's the 52nd pick. Only 16 of the last 29 have even made teams. They probably just liked the guy (and I would swear I read comments to the effect that they had worked him out, but I can't find them at the moment).

    Quote Originally Posted by tbird
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    Q: How are we going to fill out the roster?

    I think the following things are probably true:

    1. We will only keep 14 players on our roster instead of the allowable 15, just to cut costs. If one of those ends up having to be Tinsley, that means that you'll only have 13 available players. Then you factor in Dunleavy's knee injury, and we will have little room for error as far as injuries go. (Yet more reasons to both buy out Tinsley just so we have his spot for a warm body and why a flexible player like Johnson made so much sense to me to draft)

    2. Considering they were at Conseco for the draft party despite not being under contract currently, I'd be shocked if both Graham and McRoberts don't return next season.

    3. Any free agent we sign, my guess is we only offer deals 2 years in length, so they expire the same time as most of our other "non long term future" guys. This means no big time free agents nor trades involving guys with long term contracts are coming to Indiana I predict. If your deal expires in the summer of 2011 or before, you can be traded for, otherwise happy trails!

    4. The above paragraph probably means that Jack is gone for sure, and I doubt we re-sign Daniels either. So that leaves us with this:

    PLAYERS PREDICTED TO RETURN:

    Ford, Deiner, Rush, Granger, Murphy, Hansbrough, Hibbert, Foster, Graham, McRoberts. (10 total)

    The 11th player will be whomever we trade Jarrett Jack for in a sign and trade deal.

    The 12th will be a cheaper free agent we sign for depth, probably a wing. (Gerald Green perhaps? Anthony Parker? ) Whoever it is he will be cheap.

    The 13th will be an injured Dunleavy.

    The 14th player will be Tinsley.

    We will keep the 15th spot open in case we need to make a trade where we take on an extra body, need to sign someone to a 10 day contract, or for some other unforeseen emergency.

    That roster isn't very good on paper, and is badly in need of depth and talent. Now you see why we need to get something for Tinsley done, just because of the numbers crunch.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    As always, the above was just my opinion.


    Tbird
    Regarding Jack, I still believe that they're going to re-sign him. I also believe they're shopping Ford, but finally, I think they're expecting to have Jack/Ford for one more year. I believe the only threat to that is someone offering him $5mm or more per annum, and I find that highly unlikely.

    I find it unlikely that they would consider Jack's contract extending into the summer of 2011 prohibitive. More to the point, at the price I expect, I think it would be foolish to think it prohibitive.

    Regarding filling out the roster, I am absolutely certain that they will carry 14 players in addition to Tinsley. If they trade, or buyout Tinsley, they would be far more likely to leave the 15th slot open. If Dunleavy comes back healthy, they may leave it open. However, it is completely impractical to carry only 14 players when two of those roster spots (Dunleavy and Tinsley) are effectively dead.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    I'm not sure I see Draft Party attendance as adequate proof that Graham will be back. But, hey, he's not expensive, for sure.

    Bird has said they want to resign Jack often enough that I think the Pacers will make a real effort to do so, but no, I can't propose any particular scenario that explains AJ. There has been wishful thinking by some here, and a certain logic to it, but there hasn't been any real hint of a TJ Ford deal...so I could see AJ, and any prospective PGs at our summer activities as being just-in-case presences. As in, what if we can't keep JJ (i.e. outbid an interested other party)?

    As far as a Murphy / TH combination on the floor, I don't see that happening much, just because neither of them will make a go of it at SF or C...but I do believe Bird thinks Hansbrough has a good chance to be out starting PF in a couple of years, and certainly by the time Troy's gone, we'll know whether TH has what it takes to be that starter.

    Your 14-player idea (13 counting Tinsley) troubles me. Have you heard anyone in the Pacer organization hint or indicate that that's an option they might pursue?
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    PLAYERS PREDICTED TO RETURN:

    Ford, Deiner, Rush, Granger, Murphy, Hansbrough, Hibbert, Foster, Graham, McRoberts. (10 total)

    The 11th player will be whomever we trade Jarrett Jack for in a sign and trade deal.

    The 12th will be a cheaper free agent we sign for depth, probably a wing.
    (Gerald Green perhaps? Anthony Parker? ) Whoever it is he will be cheap.
    TBird, you know who should be our 12th player....both of our favorite Guard.....Quinton Ross

    I was thinking of it....and I'd rather try to sign Ross and make a run at Ime Udoka to fill out our GF rotation ( while choosing not to resign Graham ).
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Ross or Udoka would at least add some much needed defensive presence, but are they really any better than SG in the big picture? He's got the occasional instant offense. Could he improve that from a consistency standpoint and/or his D, which has never impressed me.

    I'm sure investigation is going on and I imagine TM's contract makes it pretty prohibitive, but given the season he just had, I'd be testing the waters on interest in him. I'd be checking what Foster might fetch, too.

    Divesting ourselves of one of those PGs is fine by me. I'd prefer TJ personally. I think Jack's got more moxie/external leadrship traits than TJ, from what I can perceive, of course. TJ seems a bit to mercurial for my taste. Either way, in all these scenarios, it depends on what could be coming back.

    I would agree with the ESPN Pacers draft analysis (IIRC) that talked about eventually needing one more impact guy to pair with DG. The good thing is we'll have a nice core of support guys if/when that occurs. Until it does, I find it difficult seeing the record stray much north of .500. That second guy IMO is probably not on the roster now. BR being the only guy I see as a remote possibility.
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    I've been thinking about the whole Ford/Jack/Price situation quite a bit.

    I think Bird's ideal draft day would have been to deal Ford either for a veteran big or a 2nd pick high enough to draft either Maynor or Lawson. He'd then re-sign Jack. Heading into next season you've got your prospective PG of the future and a popular combo guard who can start while the new guy matures.

    However, I think it quickly became clear to Bird that trading TJ Ford during this offseason was going to be very difficult, if not impossible. At that point he decided that taking a PG meant not re-signing Jack, and he decided that none of them were quite that good.

    At this point, unless a team makes Jack a ridiculous offer, I think he'll be back. Going into next season with Ford as the starter and Diener as his primary backup means that you're counting on Diener starting at least 10-15 games. Even though I like Travis, that's not a good plan and Bird knows it.

    Jack, however, has only missed 2 games in his entire career. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that he's going to play 75-80 games. Essentially, you can have Jack without Ford, but you can't have Ford without Jack or a backup of similar quality.

    How does AJ Price fit in? I think he'll most likely get cut, but there are 3 situations where he will probably make the roster: TJ Ford gets traded, Jamaal Tinsley gets traded or bought out, Jarrett Jack leaves. If any of those things happen, Price would become the 4th PG on the roster instead of the 5th, and he's probably good enough and cheap enough to make the team.

    As for Hansbrough and Bird's vision for him, I'm not entirely sure. My hunch is that Bird thinks he's got a shot at becoming a starter alongside Hibbert in the future. Also, I think that having Hansbrough makes either a Murphy or Foster trade much more palatable within the "win now" framework. Selling high on Murphy or trading Foster prior to drafting Hansbrough would have meant that Josh McRoberts, or whatever mediocre free agent we might be able to sign, would have been our primary back-up big. With Hansbrough on the roster, Bird likely feels like he's got a much higher quality 4th big man, so moving one of his top 3 is easier to do.
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    A long term front line of playing 2 of the following players would be Bird's goal it would appear:

    1. Hibbert, as a starter at the "5" spot.
    2. "Player X" as a starter at the "4" spot.
    3. Hansbrough coming in off the bench as a sub at the "4", with either "player X" sliding up to play center or taking a seat.

    Murphy is a nice enough player, but he can't be "player x" in Bird's long term vision, so at some point he is going to have to go....I just wonder when it may be.
    Once again, Tbird, marvelous stuff. If this thread could be merged (as I think it should be) with Sweab's excellent "Take a Step Back" thread, it/they would be the clear winner for Thread of the Year, IMO.

    Of all the great points made so far, the one I think stands out the most is the message that Larry's choice of Hansbrough reminds us that this team remake is a work in progress and that all the parts don't (can't) fit perfectly all the time. I'll repeat a comment I made on another thread: either Murphy and/or Foster will be traded within the next two years.

    Regarding your quote above, I have a trade idea:
    TJ Ford to the LA Clippers for Marcus Camby.

    Rumors persist that they're trying to trade one of their front-court veterans (Randolph, Kaman, Camby) and I imagine they would benefit from a strong backup to oft-injured Baron Davis. (I do admit, however, that Ford & Eric Gordon would make for a small backcourt.) Camby is entering the last year of a contract within range of Ford's, which likely will make him particularly attractive to many teams. (Never mind that the Clips got him for peanuts for the cash-strapped Nuggets. A lost NBA championship as a result??) Moreover, Camby seems to fit the description of "Player X" pretty decently. He's got an injury history, too, but a healthy Camby certainly would improve our defense.

    You made the excellent point about the sequence of decisions and I imagine that, if interested, TPTB would first want to re-sign Jack, then perhaps see if Price can serve as the #3 PG next season. In fact, Price may get some playing time if Jack is needed to continue to serve as a backup SG while Dunleavy rehabilitates. (Seth and others seem quite high on Price's potential if he can fully recover from his ACL injury, which may take another year.)

    If, on the other hand, you are accurate in assuming that Ford will stay -- even though TPTB don't seem crazy about him -- then another idea altogether would be to acquire a veteran PG who is a clear upgrade over Ford. FA's Mike Bibby (who's 31, but faded in the playoffs) from Atlanta and Andre Miller (who's 33 and still doesn't shoot the 3, but remains solid otherwise) from Philly come to mind.

    We seem almost functional now, at least, but clearly, more change is coming. Whether it happens this summer, mid-season next year, or after next season likely depends on the timing of attractive offers. While my enthusiasm for Hansbrough has been less than exuberant, my enthusiasm for the new season now is!
    Last edited by DrFife; 06-27-2009 at 10:49 AM.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Do you think Walsh and NYK would have an interest in Tinsley for Jeffries? I've never considered it but I actually think it makes sense. They get an up tempo PG who would love to play both in NY and for D'Antoni. He could flourish really. Contracts match up. JJ comes home to Indiana, where he's going to be popular simply from that. He was a good wing defender when he was with the Wiz. He'd be a nice lanky back up to have at the 3, and another body to throw at guys like LeBron. I'd do it in a heartbeat. Anyone else think this would have a chance? Or does Walsh just want to avoid ever dealing with Jamaal again?

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Donnie Walsh is not touching Jamaal Tinsley with a ten foot pole.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Donnie Walsh is not touching Jamaal Tinsley with a ten foot pole.
    Depends on how hard he thinks he can swing it.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    I'm not sure I see Draft Party attendance as adequate proof that Graham will be back. But, hey, he's not expensive, for sure.

    Bird has said they want to resign Jack often enough that I think the Pacers will make a real effort to do so, but no, I can't propose any particular scenario that explains AJ. There has been wishful thinking by some here, and a certain logic to it, but there hasn't been any real hint of a TJ Ford deal...so I could see AJ, and any prospective PGs at our summer activities as being just-in-case presences. As in, what if we can't keep JJ (i.e. outbid an interested other party)?

    As far as a Murphy / TH combination on the floor, I don't see that happening much, just because neither of them will make a go of it at SF or C...but I do believe Bird thinks Hansbrough has a good chance to be out starting PF in a couple of years, and certainly by the time Troy's gone, we'll know whether TH has what it takes to be that starter.

    Your 14-player idea (13 counting Tinsley) troubles me. Have you heard anyone in the Pacer organization hint or indicate that that's an option they might pursue?



    JOB was talking about this on the radio, he said that he would like to have 13 players on the roster, because that could give the pacers the flexibility of signing a free agent in case somebody gets hurt and I also think that more than one team is going to start doing that with the only reason of saving money.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    I see Ford and Jack as players more than PG. I believe Ford and Tinsley are on the table. The money for teams under the avg team salaries is going to drop so I see us at 67M or less. This paid the Pacers 1.6M last year. I hope we bring in a Vet big man and the league pays his salary as they did with Darrell Armstrong. This may give them more to spend on Jack.
    "He wanted to get to that money time. Time when the hardware was on the table. That's when Roger was going to show up. So all we needed to do was stay close"
    Darnell Hillman (Speaking of former teammate Roger Brown)

  16. #13

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    When considering AJ Price, we should remember how dramatically this point guard bottleneck will evaporate by the end of this season.

    Diener: Definitely gone after this season.

    Ford: Likely gone after this season since he almost certainly won't exercise his player option this coming summer (will want a long-term deal as he hits his prime, particularly given his health risks). While the Pacers could theoretically re-up Ford for such a deal, most on this board believe (as I do) that this is highly unlikely.

    Tinsley: Almost certainly gone after the arbitratron. Either Pacers lose and are legally obligated to buy Tinsley out at full value, or Tinsley loses and is either traded or accepts a buy-out with a haircut so that he can start playing again. Regardless, he will never step on the floor as a Pacer again.

    That leave us with Jarrett Jack (if we re-sign him) and AJ Price. In this light, drafting a point guard this year was pretty essential, and it speaks to how much the Pacers must have liked Hansbrough that they did not go with Lawson/Holiday/Maynor.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    The Pacers didn't work out Price in person, so it isn't like they could have been overwhelmed by some great display of hidden skills only they saw.
    We did bring Price in for a workout with Lawson and Teague..

  19. #15

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    We did bring Price in for a workout with Lawson and Teague..

    I missed that. Good find....lets give an "E" to me on that one.

    Tbird

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    ???

    I'm not seeing this anywhere.

  21. #17

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Ah, gotcha.

    Also, Jim O'Brien mentioned seeing A.J. Price work out in Minnesota. He said he wasn't on his radar, saw him play, looked at his papers to see A.J.'s name not listed and said "this guy is almost on par with the guys we're scouting" (this is very loose paraphrasing).

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Actually I remembered incorrectly. He wasn't one of the guys we brought in. For some reason I swore I remember watching him work out. But I will say that not everyone who worked out gave an interview on pacers.com..

  23. #19
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Who's gonna offer Jarrett Jack more than 3 years/$12 million? Maybe 4 years/$16. I think we match that and he stays here where he knows he'll get burn.

    I suppose the Celtics could fancy the guy or maybe Cleveland, but among the other contending teams out there, who needs a back up PG enough to offer him any more than that in this economy? Denver just got Lawson. Orlando has Skip. Houston has Lowry. LA has Fish/Farmar/(probably) Brown. Portland clearly wasn't enamored with the guy. Bulls still have Hinrich (for now). Hawks have a bunch of combo guards already. Detroit has Bynum. Utah just drafted Maynor. New Orleans took Collison. San Antonio and Phoenix seem cool enough with Hill and Dragic for now.

    I guess Miami or Dallas could actually really use Jack (depending on what happens with Kidd). The Knicks and Nets obviously need some backcourt help. And maybe I'm overlooking some other, lesser teams who need help badly enough to overpay for a guy who is really nothing more than a reserve combo-guard.

    But, still, in this economy where every team is at least somewhat trying to curb spending based on both their own hemorraging of money and the fact that all these marquee, supposed-franchise-altering free agents are looming on the horizon, it's hard to see anyone wanting to pay Jarrett more than $4 per year to be their back-up PG. (Do we think that's more than Bird will pay? For three years?)

    Then again, someone did just give Beno Udrih like $32 million not to long ago to be their starting PG, so maybe we should never underestimate the fiscal irresponsibility of NBA GMs.
    Last edited by JayRedd; 06-27-2009 at 10:14 PM.
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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Skip got shipped in the VC trade...but I agree with your pricing for Jack.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Oh. Whoops.

    On second thought, then, that means the three best teams in the East -- all of which probably have memories of Jack overachieving against them a little last year -- all are in pretty big need of a back-up PG.

    So, yeah, maybe I'm just dumb. Maybe one of those three throws 4 years/$22 million at him. (Although I have a weird feeling JKidd winds up in CLE as Danny Ferry tries his damnest to board up the windows to help prevent LeBron from leaving.) And obviously, this is already shaping up to be a very active off-season leaguewide, so many other teams may have backcourt holes surface as well.

    In sum, I've added nothing but more questions then. And now I feel like tbird Jedi Mind Tricked me into doing just that. These are not the droids I was looking for.
    Last edited by JayRedd; 06-27-2009 at 10:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Skip got shipped in the VC trade...but I agree with your pricing for Jack.
    yeah, I think they need Tinsley now.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by JayRedd View Post
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    Oh. Whoops.

    On second thought, then, that means the three best teams in the East -- all of which probably have memories of Jack overachieving against them a little last year -- all are in pretty big need of a back-up PG.

    So, yeah, maybe I'm just dumb. Maybe one of those three throws 4 years/$22 million at him. (Although I have a weird feeling JKidd winds up in CLE as Danny Ferry tries his damnest to board up the windows to help prevent LeBron from leaving.) And obviously, this is already shaping up to be a very active off-season leaguewide, so many other teams may have backcourt holes surface as well.



    In sum, I've added nothing but more questions then. And now I feel like TBird Jedi Mind Tricked me into doing just that. These are not the droids I was looking for.
    I'm actually a bit worried about Jack leaving - there's a number of teams that I think would love Jack (which is why we should have extended him and not Foster but whatever). It depends on how much money he's offered or whether he prefers being a back-up or a starter.

  30. #24

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    [QUOTE=rexnom;902601]


    (which is why we should have extended him and not Foster).
    /QUOTE]



    If only Bird had had that insight!!!

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 draft night leaves more questions than answers

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    How does AJ Price fit in? I think he'll most likely get cut, but there are 3 situations where he will probably make the roster: TJ Ford gets traded, Jamaal Tinsley gets traded or bought out, Jarrett Jack leaves. If any of those things happen, Price would become the 4th PG on the roster instead of the 5th, and he's probably good enough and cheap enough to make the team.
    you missed one scenario - if diener gets traded. with one year remaining on a cheap deal, he's a perfect filler type contract. price will essentially replace diener in that scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    As for Hansbrough and Bird's vision for him, I'm not entirely sure. My hunch is that Bird thinks he's got a shot at becoming a starter alongside Hibbert in the future. Also, I think that having Hansbrough makes either a Murphy or Foster trade much more palatable within the "win now" framework. Selling high on Murphy or trading Foster prior to drafting Hansbrough would have meant that Josh McRoberts, or whatever mediocre free agent we might be able to sign, would have been our primary back-up big. With Hansbrough on the roster, Bird likely feels like he's got a much higher quality 4th big man, so moving one of his top 3 is easier to do.
    i agree with this. i think a lot of people were disappointed with the hansbrough pick because it didn't bring the athleticism, length, and quickness that our frontline is currently lacking. but if you view hansbrough as a replacement for murphy or foster then it makes a lot more sense. personally, i like hansbrough as the starter at pf a lot more than murphy. and unlike most rookies, he can probably handle the starting role if thrust on him - say, if murphy gets traded. so indeed, there are still many questions unanswered, and i don't think we'll get a good grasp of where the team is going until after the summer's moves are done.

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