What would it take to add three of those four to the Pacers? We would have a true point guard, a creator, and a back-up big with future star potential, but what would be the costs and risks?
1. Trade up with New Orleans to the top ten in the draft. At 26 we will get a third stringer with potential to become a second stringer within a few years. At 10 or higher we will get a second stringer with potential to become a first stringer within a few years.
2. Take a big risk to expand the above trade enough to get a strong non-rookie also. Here is the idea. Danny Granger has been our best player for many years now, he can score with spot-up perimeter and mid-range shooting and play pretty good defense, but, as good as he is and as risky as it is to consider life without him, that is the problem. As long as our offense and payroll is oriented around him, we cannot do the other things we need to do to rise to the top, things that require a strong creator point guard.
Send Danny Granger and Darren Collison (and/or Tyler Hansbrough if necessary) to New Orleans for Eric Gordon (sign-and-trade) and the number 10 pick. With luck, either Tyler Zeller or John Henson should be available at 10 to become our much needed back-up big. Danny gets to go to his hometown, Darren gets to return to his place of greatest success, and Eric Gordon gets to come home, too. Tyler Zellar, if we got him, would be a homecoming bonus. No, Iím not really that hung up on homecomings. Itís just a coincidental set of circumstances that is interesting, with some small benefit for home fans.
The risk to this proposal is not just losing Granger, but also acquiring in Gordon a player who has had a series of injuries. I have not seen anyone connect the dots on Gordonís injuries to say that there is some sort of congenital weakness behind them; so maybe, it has just been bad luck. Injury-free, he has great potential to emerge as a star creator.
3. Pursue Goran Dragic as number one goal in free agency. He is ready to emerge as a star ball-dominant point guard who can create, score in the paint and from the perimeter, assist, and play defense. With Gordon that would give us two creators. Dragic would make our bigs better, and he would be stunning with Gordon and Paul George
4. The starting five would be: Dragic, Gordon, George, West, Hibbert. G. Hill would back up the 1-2 (with A. J. Price and L. Stephenson behind him if still around). D. Jones (and L. Barbosa, if still around) would back up the 2-3. Zeller or Henson and J. Pendergraff (or whoever is left of our other bigs) would back up the 4-5.
What do you think?
It seems to me that this could (maybe) take us one more level upwards, from distant third in the East, to being in a three-way contest for first in the East.