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Thread: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

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    Default Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    This looks like it might be worth reading. Are we better off if Lance doesn't make the all star team?
    If someone could post this I would appreciate it.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)


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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    I think that it would make little difference if Lance makes the ASG....at this point...its not like GMs don't know what Lance is all about. He'll get paid to the tune of $9 to 12 mil a year....depending on how much the Team wants him.
    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: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story...urning-indiana

    Is Lance Stephenson an All-Star?
    Indiana shooting guard might be NBA's most improved player
    Updated: January 22, 2014, 12:33 PM ET
    By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider
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    AP Photo/Seth Wenig
    If Lance Stephenson makes the All-Star team, it could complicate things for Indiana.
    When All-Star reserves are chosen next week, the most interesting question coaches will answer might be the fate of Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson. Stephenson made his pitch to fans with a YouTube video, but the better argument came in last Thursday's nationally televised win over the New York Knicks, which served as a 150-minute Stephenson infomercial. As TNT broadcasters Reggie Miller and Chris Webber argued on his behalf, Stephenson scored a career-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

    Stephenson's backers can note he's in elite company. On the strength of a league-high three triple-doubles, Stephenson is one of four players in the NBA averaging at least six rebounds and five assists per game. Two of the others are MVP favorites Kevin Durant and LeBron James. (Never mind that the fourth player, Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, is unlikely to be an All-Star in the Western Conference.)

    Watch NBA doubleheader on ESPN
    Tony Parker and the Spurs take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder while Paul George and the Indiana Pacers take on Goran Dragic and the Phoenix Suns on ESPN tonight. WatchESPN: 8:00, 10:30 p.m. ET Video

    Looking deeper, Stephenson's All-Star case shows more holes. He doesn't shine by advanced statistics. Stephenson is fourth on his own team in PER (15.7), behind certain All-Stars Paul George (22.6) and Roy Hibbert (17.3), but also forward David West (16.5), who isn't getting any buzz for a third All-Star appearance.

    And while my wins above replacement (WARP) metric has him ahead of West (3.5 to 2.6), largely because Stephenson is able to log more minutes, it also puts Stephenson sixth among East guards behind Kyle Lowry (7.5), John Wall (5.7), Kemba Walker (5.0) and likely starters Kyrie Irving (4.5) and Dwyane Wade (3.9). Worse still, a full 12 East frontcourt players rank ahead of Stephenson.

    The issue is that the Pacers' deep lineup -- the biggest factor working in Stephenson's favor when coaches vote, because they tend to reward players from the league's best teams -- makes his life easier than many of his East counterparts. It's rare for wing players who use plays at a below-average rate (Stephenson is at 19.4 percent, just below the 20 percent average) to make the All-Star team. Per Basketball-Reference.com, only two players (Ray Allen in 2011 and Andre Iguodala in 2012) have done so in the 2000s.

    On a lesser team, Stephenson would surely be a larger part of the offense, but at the cost of his efficiency. Turnovers remain an issue for Stephenson, who has committed them on 17.2 percent of his plays, a below-average rate for a point guard, let alone a combo one.

    It's also worth noting -- as Per Diem predecessor John Hollinger did repeatedly -- that many of the worst All-Star selections in recent memory, such as Mo Williams in 2006 and Wally Szczerbiak in 2002, were a product of coaches rewarding the best teams rather than the best players. Stephenson's selection is likely to hold up better, but it would result from the same line of thought.

    Most Improved?

    There's a stronger case for Stephenson to follow teammate Paul George as Most Improved Player. After going from deep reserve to starter a year ago, he has taken another leap forward this season to put himself in the All-Star discussion. Stephenson spent much of last season staying out of the way on offense, using just 14.2 percent of the Pacers' plays. Not only has he increased his involvement this year, he also has become more efficient by improving his accuracy on 2-pointers beyond the rim from 28 percent to 36 percent, per NBA.com/Stats.

    Stephenson's other numbers are up across the board, fueling his rise to nightly triple-double threat:

    Stephenson: Marked Improvement
    Year Usg TS% Reb% Ast% Win% WARP
    2012-13 .152 .530 7.3 4.5 .438 1.2
    2013-14 .194 .565 10.6 6.8 .542 3.7
    The strongest competition for Stephenson might be former teammate Miles Plumlee, whose Phoenix Suns will face Indiana tonight on ESPN. After playing sparingly as a rookie in Indiana, Plumlee has blossomed into a starter after a summer trade.

    A potentially costly honor

    As much as the Pacers would surely love to see Stephenson recognized as an All-Star (his coach, Frank Vogel, has been stumping on Stephenson's behalf with other East coaches before they cast their votes), it could prove costly down the road. The bargain four-year contract Stephenson signed as a second-round pick (he's making just over a $1 million this season) is almost up, and he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

    Using the last five years' worth of free agency, I attempted to predict first-year salary (adjusted for increases or decreases in future years) as a function of their stats the previous season. Seven factors ended up having a statistically significant relationship with salary: my wins above replacement metric, minutes per game, points per game, height (a positive), age (a negative), whether the player was a restricted free agent (surprisingly, restricted free agents made more than expected based on their stats) and whether the player was an All-Star the previous season. Together, they explain more than 70 percent of the variation in player salaries.

    Lance Stephenson, Paul George
    AP Photo/Michael Conroy
    Could Stephenson follow George as the league's Most Improved Player?
    Because these factors match up better with the square root of salary -- that is, salary grows exponentially with improvement in these factors more than it does on a consistent, linear basis -- it's difficult to put an exact dollar value on an All-Star appearance. But when Stephenson's current stats are plugged in (projected to a full season), the model suggests his value would be about $8 million on the open market. If he makes the All-Star team, however, that figure jumps all the way to $12.4 million.

    If that seems like a significant difference, consider the history of free agents coming off All-Star appearances. In the past five years, only one All-Star free agent (38-year-old Steve Nash) has signed for a starting salary of less than $10 million. To find another All-Star who immediately hit free agency and made less than $10 million the following season requires going back to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who got five years and about $50 million after playing in the 2005 All-Star Game.

    Naturally, Stephenson isn't a good match for superstars like LeBron James and Chris Paul who also were coming off All-Star selections. But including other statistics should account for this distinction, and an All-Star berth still seems to matter. A lot. After all, offering Stephenson eight figures as a free agent sounds far more palatable if teams with cap space can tout adding a 23-year-old All-Star to their fans.

    Stephenson's value is crucially important to Indiana because the team is butting up against the tax line and team president Larry Bird has vowed that the Pacers will not be taxpayers. How much room Indiana will have available depends on where the tax falls next season (which also will determine George's contract, as Zach Lowe has explained). Based on the current projection of $76.7 million, the Pacers would have about $11.5 million available to offer Stephenson if they waive Luis Scola, which would save them $3.9 million in non-guaranteed salary.

    So an All-Star berth could make retaining Stephenson difficult. The good news for Indiana is their $11.5 million will go farther than other teams', because they can offer Stephenson larger raises (7.5 percent annually, as compared to 4.5 percent, a difference of about $1.4 million over four years) and a fifth guaranteed season. They've also earned Stephenson's loyalty by taking a chance on him when other teams were scared off by his trouble off the court.

    Still, if Stephenson is a winner when All-Star reserves are announced, it could be the Pacers that lose in the long run.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    lol nvm cdash beat me to it

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    I hope Lance doesn't make the all star team or win MIP and I'd rather not have had it happen for Hibbert and PG right before they signed their last contracts. The Pacers need every penny they can save moving forward if we're going to keep our core together.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    It does matter somewhat if Lance makes the all-star team. When a GM is going to spend millions of dollars on a player, that's justification he can serve up...particularly if it's a mistake.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    I don't understand the idea that we would want a player not to get the accolades he deserves in order to save some money.
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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    I don't understand the idea that we would want a player not to get the accolades he deserves in order to save some money.
    I'm fine with Lance on the all-star team. But if that means he's not a Pacer next year because it was just enough to raise his price tag out of reach, I'd prefer he not make it until later on. The guy has time. Let's lock him up.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    I don't understand the idea that we would want a player not to get the accolades he deserves in order to save some money.
    I think the implication here is that not only would the accolades cost us more money, but it might price him out of our range altogether.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    I hope those numbers for what Indiana will have available are true.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    I think the implication here is that not only would the accolades cost us more money, but it might price him out of our range altogether.
    And if it does, that's our loss.

    I never EVER want to see someone lose out on honors they deserve so that we can somehow keep them a secret (and, at the same time, pay them less than what the market rate would be if they got those honors). First off, there's no secret there. Teams know exactly what Lance is and what he's worth to them. This isn't like a post-rookie-contract Rose rule situation. Secondly, with the amount of complaining going on that Pacer players never get recognized or picked for the ASG (or, similarly, that we never go after guys who are recognized or have started in the ASG), it seems hypocritical to turn around and be glad he didn't get recognition because - whew - it keeps our money in our pockets.

    Figuring out how to keep Lance when he is getting these accolades is a great problem to have. It is exactly why people are praising Bird for his drafting - it was designed to put us in this position.
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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    And if it does, that's our loss.

    I never EVER want to see someone lose out on honors they deserve so that we can somehow keep them a secret (and, at the same time, pay them less than what the market rate would be if they got those honors). First off, there's no secret there. Teams know exactly what Lance is and what he's worth to them. This isn't like a post-rookie-contract Rose rule situation. Secondly, with the amount of complaining going on that Pacer players never get recognized or picked for the ASG (or, similarly, that we never go after guys who are recognized or have started in the ASG), it seems hypocritical to turn around and be glad he didn't get recognition because - whew - it keeps our money in our pockets.

    Figuring out how to keep Lance when he is getting these accolades is a great problem to have. It is exactly why people are praising Bird for his drafting - it was designed to put us in this position.
    That is the other part of the article, and a point that Zach Lowe of Grantland made in his All-Star column from yesterday: Lance might not be worthy of the All-Star accolade--at least not yet. They cite things like advanced metrics and the comically overrated PER statistic. I don't think Pelton's goal while writing this was to encourage Pacer fans to hope Lance isn't in the All-Star game, but just that he's a fringe candidate and the cost/benefit ratio may not be favorable to us long term.

    That being said, I get what you are saying and generally agree. I do not want someone else to go unrecognized for their work if they truly deserve to be honored just because it might benefit me in the future.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    If Lance gets to the all-star game, then that's great for him. It will be just another highlight of the Pacers' incredible season.

    I don't think there is much of a dilemma though. We must pay Lance whatever it takes.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    When it comes to Lance making the All-Star game, I'm less worried about him being priced out of our range than I am of what it might do to his play.

    Would the All-Star accolade change his mind-set? Would it embolden him to start trying to do too much as a scorer, which he sometimes already has a tendency to do? I'm hoping not, but it does concern me a bit. His strength for our team is that he fits within the team's overall scheme. He's as much a facilitator as he is a scorer. Hopefully his style of play would remain that way.

    If we're looking at it based on previous All-Star representation for past 1-seeds, then he probably should make it.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    If Lance gets to the all-star game, then that's great for him. It will be just another highlight of the Pacers' incredible season.

    I don't think there is much of a dilemma though. We must pay Lance whatever it takes.

    I disagree and Larry has already said that he won't do that, he'll make him a fair offer but he feels that we'll be fine if we have to plug in someone else. This is why it's important to the team as to weather or not Lance makes it.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
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    I disagree and Larry has already said that he won't do that, he'll make him a fair offer but he feels that we'll be fine if we have to plug in someone else. This is why it's important to the team as to weather or not Lance makes it.
    But that's another part of the problem. Who out there could fill that void and want less money? I tried to explain how important Lance is here, but it seems that some posters look more at his turnovers and PPG, or what-not....
    Last edited by pogi; 01-22-2014 at 06:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Better question whose even out there.

    This isnt college recruiting where if you miss out on a player you can get a slightly less talented version of that player for the same cost(a scholarship)

    In this league, they either have to be a FA or you have to give up something for them.
    Last edited by Mad-Mad-Mario; 01-22-2014 at 07:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mad-Mario View Post
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    Better question whose even out there.

    This is college recruiting where if you miss out on a player you can get a slightly less talented version of that player for the same cost(a scholarship)

    In this league, they either have to be a FA or you have to give up something for them.
    Exactly. And then you have to factor in chemistry and being in the system for the last few years.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    And for those whom think that I'm some Lance fan-boy...it's not that. The thing is, I've been watching NBA since the mid-80's. I've seen some great teams and players come and go. I've seen players eventually win a championship that had no business being on a winning team; and, I've seen great players not even sniff the Finals, much less win it. And I've also seen us go through many, many years of being doormats...then being semi-ok....then finally being relevant to finally playing for the championship, only to fizzle and have to start over.

    Now fast-forward to now...In my eyes I see a championship, maybe even a potential dynasty. I honestly feel we could win not only one, but two, maybe even three championships with this starting lineup. I've never felt that way before...EVER! And this is why I get peeved with the thought of any mention of breaking up the band. This is how I felt when a few years before Peyton finally won a superbowl, there were talks about the Colts moving to LA, and I'm thinking "WHAT THE H3LL!!! We finally get a good team and now we have to hear this!"

    Sorry for my rant.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Guys we're keeping Lance. We'll find a way.
    follow me @TruenoPanda - lets talk Pacers!

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    Quote Originally Posted by pogi View Post
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    But that's another part of the problem. Who out there could fill that void and want less money? I tried to explain how important Lance is here, but it seems that some posters look more at his turnovers and PPG, or what-not....
    I don't think there is any realistic option for less money to completely fill the void. If it ends up that we can't keep Lance I think we can still be a title contender without completely filling that void. Danny is a very good back up plan IMO that would cost less which means we'd also be able to keep Scola. Keep in mind that we're losing something major even if we keep Lance in the fact that if that happens we'll lose Danny. As this author suggest we'd have to also lose Scola to offer Lance 11.5 mil. IMO giving up both Danny and Scola to keep Lance is too much and it also puts us in a position that we may lose Hibbert the following year.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    when Stephenson's current stats are plugged in (projected to a full season), the model suggests his value would be about $8 million on the open market. If he makes the All-Star team, however, that figure jumps all the way to $12.4 million.
    Based on the current projection of $76.7 million, the Pacers would have about $11.5 million available to offer Stephenson if they waive Luis Scola, which would save them $3.9 million in non-guaranteed salary.
    There's no way to know exactly what's going to happen this summer, but to me this just reinforces the notion that THIS is the year for our team. Yes, we MAY sit at the top of the standings throughout next season as well, but there are no guarantees.

    Granger is probably gone this summer.
    Scola may need to be waived to keep Lance.
    West turns 34 this August and will be on the decline.

    Yeah guys like Lance and George might continue to get better for another year or two, but probably not in the leaps and bounds they've progressed in the past two years. Hill has peaked. Roy is in his prime and is probably at his peak (or very close) as well.

    Also, some other team(s) are going to be as good or even better than last year. Injuries could happen. etc.

    I think we have a good chance at contending for the next few years but we really can't take this season for granted. We just can't count on having the combination of youth, bench depth, and underpaid guys (Lance, Scola in terms of cap hit) in the subsequent years after this.

    This season is special. It's time to win it all in 2014 folks. We may never get a better chance than this.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    The ESPN winter forcast has Lance as the leading candidate for MIP.
    Larry is going to earn his money this summer.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10...ed-player-year
    Our Winter Forecast rolls on with a look at the NBA awards races.
    Who will be named the Most Improved Player at the end of the season?
    Our ESPN Forecast panel has Indiana's Lance Stephenson leading the way with 20 first-place votes and teammate Paul George, who won the MIP award last season, rounding out the top five.
    New Orleans' super soph Anthony Davis, meanwhile, finished second in our forecast with nine first-place votes.

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    Default Re: Pacers Dilemma (insider request)

    I doubt we waive scola to save money. More likely we will trade Copeland

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