I originally was going to post this within an already created thread, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make as poll in order to see what other PD'ers thought.
With Roy Hibbert and George Hill already locked up in long term contracts (for better or worse) and PG coming up for an extension next season, this trade deadline (and eventually this offseason) could very well shape the Pacers roster for the immediate future.
With that said, I think the FO needs to make a decision on what we're going to do. Because as we stand now, we're either going to barely make the playoffs, and lose in the first round, or we're going to barely MISS the playoffs, have a mid level draft pick, and stand the chance of losing our most important player THIS season (David West) for nothing. At 33, he's going to rightfully want to win NOW.
I know we're awaiting Danny's return. But I'm not so sure we can count on a player with what sounds like a somewhat serious knee injury to come in and help us be very competitive. I'm not saying that it can't happen, but at this point it's a "best case possible" scenario, so I feel its smart to plan for him to either not come back this year, or plan for him to come back but not be able to give us the consistent 18+ ppg that we need.
With that said, we have to ask ourselves. Are we in "win-now" mode?
If so then we need to look to move one or two of our cheap bench expiring contracts, package them with a draft pick, and try to pick up a decent bench player that can contribute for the rest of the season. A lot of non playoff teams are going to look to get under that luxury tax threshold, and draft picks are always valuable. I believe if we can add a consistent and capable player to our bench (preferably on the wing/at the point) then I think we could easily be a 5 seed. Considering Danny's injury, I would think that our season was fairly successful with a 4-5 seed.
If we aren't in "win-now" mode, then I say we shut Danny down for the rest of the season, and look to move West for some younger players and a draft pick. Not a popular choice by any means, and he very well could WANT to return to this team next yr. BUT...there will be many contenders/playoff teams that could use a player like West. If we could somehow snag a few young players still on rookie deals, plus a draft pick, then it may be wise to call this season a loss, and try for a quick rebuild with younger players. If we were able to get a few young players, we may still be able to sneak into the playoffs as an 8 seed. The only difference would be that we'd have a two draft picks and a few new young players to supplement a returning Danny Granger. We could very well be right back on track NEXT season.
I'm honestly torn on what I think we should do. I really like David West on this team, and I'd like to think that Danny coming back and moving Lance to the bench will push us to the 4/5 seed range. But I look at the overall talent level on this team, and compare it to other teams that are at, and around our level (PHI, DEN, UTA, etc) nd they seem to have some hope for the immediate future, be it young talent or cap space. We seemingly had both just a season ago, but one seemingly below average offseason, and one injury to Danny later, and we're back to being a .500 team.
So what do YOU think is the best route for the Pacers moving forward?
1. Look to move our draft pick in order to make a trade for a competent bench player?
2. Look to move West for younger pieces/draft picks?
3. Stand-pat, wait for Danny to come back.
4. Other (with an explanation)