The problem with the "but we were good team in the East prior to Lance's breakout season" argument is that a major reason for us being so good in 2012-13 was that David West had an absolutely fantastic season for us that year. Will he be good again next year? Yeah, he should still be a very good player, but sooner or later he's going to hit a steep decline. Roy/West/Hill/PG/filler should be good enough to get a good seed next season, but keeping Lance isn't just about next season. It's about keeping a core piece who can grow with PG in the prime of his career, well after the vital piece of David West is out of the picture.
Lance was still a pretty solid player in 12-13 and having him was better than no Lance at all. Also, I don't think it can be denied by anyone that the best this team ever looked was when they were 33-7 and dominating the league. Lance's evolution played a major role in that. He was absolutely awesome. Now there is no question that he absolutely let the AS stuff get into his head and rubbed his teammates the wrong way. He got too selfish and he must work on that. But overall, I see a guy who has grown up quite a bit over the last couple of years. Just two years ago, he was famous only for giving a choke sign to Lebron James. Then all of the sudden he's getting major all-star hype and playing for a big contract after watching all of his teammates get paid. That's a lot to digest for a 23 year old. Regardless of what one thinks about his personality, I don't think that anyone can deny that he puts a lot of time into his game. It's a gamble that we must make, IMHO. Yes, we can survive next year without him, but this is about the future, not just one year. Id be stunned if he already hit his peak at age 23 with just two years of heavy minutes under his belt.
Pacers Digest mock draft LIST:
I actually think a huge part of this may be that Lebron and Melo want to have their announcement over lap as little as possible.
I feel bad for Cavs and Heat fans. One of those teams will win 58 games and get to the NBA Finals and the other might make the playoffs with a .500 record. And it all hinges on what Lebron does. I don't think Pacers fans have ever gone though something like this
If I was LeBron I would want as little fanfare as possible, regardless of my "Decision"
He ought to just sign the contract with whichever team at 3AM on a Saturday night and just go on with his life.
Pretty sure he already understands the pros and cons of hyping up your own hyped up hype.
I bet some people would have said that Evan Turner was a better scorer than Lance this year before he came to the Pacers. No, I'm not saying that CJ will be a Turner-like disaster, but I'm not going to get giddy about his scoring ability here until I see him do it in a a Pacer jersey.
DWest losing a step or two is fine at the moment, but my point is that there will be a day when he's not on the roster at all while Paul George still has a lot of career left. If you lose Lance, then you're losing a major piece of the future core.
The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)
People seem to forget the part lance played in getting to the ECF 2 sessions ago. Lance was huge vs. New York
I could never feel sorry for a fanbase that has seen 5 Finals appearances and 3 championships since 2006. They are some lucky SOB's.
Cleveland? Yeah, I'll definitely feel sorry for them if they end up getting duped.
I caught some of Colin Cowherd during lunch today. He had Chris Sheridan on there. Sheridan stood 100% behind his declaration that Lebron is going to Cleveland. He didn't have the slightest bit of hesitation. He didn't even do the "I'm 99% sure" thing so that he would have that built-in wiggle room. He flat out said 100%. Also, he said it would be announced before Lebron goes to the World Cup.