Pacers: Vogel likes the roster dilemma he faces | The Indianapolis Star
Originally Posted by Mike WellsIndiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel wouldn't have it any other way.
Vogel knows he and his staff will spend time mixing and matching players, seeking the right combination to give the Pacers their best chance of winning.
Vogel may experience his fair share of headaches along the way, but he said it's worth it because the Pacers are putting together their deepest team in years.
"It's fun; it is a challenge. The talent level on this team is even better than it was last year. I'm going to have a lot of tough decisions to make, but they're good tough decisions. We've got a lot of good players on this team," Vogel said.
The depth will improve even more today when power forward David West practices with his new team for the first time.
West, a former All-Star at New Orleans, agreed to a two-year deal with the Pacers over the weekend.
"I think it adds tremendous depth for us, especially at the power forward position," small forward Danny Granger said. "He comes from a team that has won over the past four or five years. He knows how to play the game. With our team, we need that because we have so many young pieces."
Pacers President Larry Bird knew the Pacers were not going to get a true superstar on the free agent market. The best way for the Pacers to succeed is by adding depth so that they can wear their opponent down over the course of a 48-minute game.
"We're going to be a really good team," point guard Darren Collison said. "I think Larry and (general manager) David (Morway) did a good job bringing the team together, especially off the bench."
Vogel will be responsible for managing egos because playing time could be reduced for some players.
George Hill is battling Collison for the starting point guard spot. West and Tyler Hansbrough will compete at power forward. Dahntay Jones and Brandon Rush, if he's still on the roster, will push Paul George for minutes at shooting guard. Lance Stephenson has also been impressive through the first part of training camp.
"It's always a challenge because everybody wants to play 48 minutes," Vogel said. "My job is to decipher who is earning their roles, who is earning the minutes and communicate clearly to the guys what their roles will be."
Vogel said Granger and Roy Hibbert will get substantial playing time. It's up in the air after that.
"We want to have the best players on the court," Vogel said. "Certainly there are certain guys that I know I want to play them a certain amount of minutes. They need to be on the court because they're that good. Then from that standpoint, you figure out who's playing well with whom. Chemistry definitely comes into play."
Depth will be key because of the condensed 66-game NBA schedule over a four-month span. The Pacers have 17 sets of back-to-back games and they'll likely endure some injuries along the way.
"I think we're kind of loaded at every position really," Granger said. "I think with the more games per week that we have, we're going to need to go deep on the bench."
Pacers release Posey
The Pacers released forward James Posey and his $7.5 million contract under the league's amnesty clause. Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams may release one player on the roster.
Posey, who was told last week not to report to training camp, will receive his full salary, but that won't count against the Pacers' salary cap.
Acquired from New Orleans in August 2010, Posey will become a free agent in three days if he goes unclaimed through the waiver process.
"We want to thank the Pacers for using their amnesty on James so that he could pursue opportunities on other teams," said Posey's agent, Mark Bartelstein.
Pacers trade update
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the Memphis Commercial Appeal on Monday that they are not trying to trade guard O.J. Mayo.
"Right now, we do not have any active effort going to trade O.J. Mayo," Heisley told the newspaper.
The Pacers recently proposed a sign-and-trade offer that would send Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush to Memphis for Mayo.
"I'm trying to stay focused and not worry about the business side of the organization," Rush said.
The Pacers will likely turn their attention back to free agent Jamal Crawford if they can't get Mayo.