When you look at all the teams that should be trying to make some sort of deal to improve their club, the Indiana Pacers are certainly on the list. With loads of promising youth, a gaping hole at the power forward spot, and almost $26 million in expiring contracts to work with, the Pacers are certainly in great position to dangle some intriguing offers.
Team GM David Morway, however, says the team is in a good place right now, and immediate changes aren't something he feels are particularly necessary.
"We like our team right now," Morway said before his team's tough home loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday night. "We like the combination next year of our young players and our veteran players. We like the chemistry in our locker room and what we're building here, so we're not actively pursuing any trades right now."
That doesn't mean, however, that Morway and team president Larry Bird have shut their ears to offers from other teams—just that when it comes to rebuilding, this team feels like it's close, and the guys in charge don't want to do anything rash to mess that up.
"We feel like we're getting closer. We certainly think we have taken some big steps and are now in a position where we've got a young core of players that we can move forward with. We're going to have a lot of flexibility to add to the basketball team, so we think we're in a very good position."
With an All-Star caliber forward like Danny Granger leading the charge, flanked by point guard Darren Collison and big man Roy Hibbert, the Pacers really are heading in a direction in which they really could be a perennial playoff team. And, as Morway pointed out, they've done it without a single-digit draft pick during the rebuilding process—something that has required a whole different level of preparation for the draft process.
"Larry and I took over this team three years ago, and when we did we drafted Roy at #17, Brandon at #13, Tyler at #13, A.J. Price in the 50s, Paul George at 10, and Lance Stephenson at 40," Morway explained.
"You never know for sure, but if you do your homework—and I'm not talking just about on-court scouting, but going off-court to make sure you know their work habits, their professionalism, their maturity, their dedication—then it helps to eliminate some mistakes."
And while many of the young players he mentioned have promise, Morway understands that they aren't necessarily the end-all for this team at those positions.
"We're not there yet, and as a young team we're going to have periods where we struggle, but we certainly are heading in the right direction. We're exactly where we said we would be, and if we do the right things over the next 12 months, Larry and Coach and I feel like we're a team that you'll have to think about in the East."