Indiana Pacers- Run it back
The Indiana Pacers won 48 games this season. Most likely, if Victor Oladipo was healthy all year, they would have won many more games. Unfortunately, after he went down, they went 15-19 which is good for a team without their best player, but it definitely wasn’t a pretty way to end the season. The Pacers still have a scary roster as long as Oladipo returns to his old self. They still have Oladipo and Myles Turner to build upon, but they still do have Domantas Sabonis at the back-up center position as well. I would also keep an eye on Aaron Holiday as well as he should be able to carve out a more significant role next season.
Players to Let Go
The players that are on contract years that the Pacers should let walk are Tyreke Evans, Wesley Matthews and Thaddeus Young. They are on the older side and should not be priority in this offseason. Tyreke Evans never really came into his role, even after Oladipo went down with his injury and was overall a bust. It is pretty obvious that his one season in Memphis were very bloated because that team was riddled with injuries. Wesley Matthews was a good way for the Pacers to plug a hole with Oladipos injury because of Evans bad play. Unfortunately, Matthews shot just 38.6% from the field in 23 games with his new team and the older Matthews gets, the worse that percentage could get. Thaddeus Young never really reached his true potential and that is mostly due to his lack of a position. He is too slow for small forward but too small for power forward. He averaged 11.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds a game in three seasons with the Pacers. He is an okay option for the Pacers but I believe a true stretch four would be the best option.
Players to Keep
Some players I would think they should really consider keeping are Bojan Bogdanovic and Darren Collison. They are both in the prime of their careers and they both had pretty good seasons. Bogdanovic had a very successful season as he scored 18 points per game and he also made a career high two threes a game this season. He was able to step up after Oladipo got hurt and helped lead the team into the playoffs. The Pacers shouldn’t give him a big meaty contract, but I would offer him a contract that is around one to two years as he is currently 29 years old. Darren Collison also had a good year and even at the age of 31, he is still a viable starting or back-up point guard for the Pacers. He averaged 11.2 points per game on 46.7% from the field and he dished out a career high 6 assists a game as well.
Players to Sign
A couple of players that the Pacers should really look at signing are Kemba Walker, JaMychal Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Kemba Walker would be the biggest fish the Pacers try to reel in. He would be a great fit in terms of the offense because Oladipo needs some help on the offensive end for sure. Bogdanovic is a great spot-up shooter but Oladipo cannot always be the one to rely on constantly. In todays NBA, you need two or three stars to really compete at a high level. Kemba fills that need while also bringing a faster pace to the Pacers, which is something they desperately need for next season. He is coming off a career year and he would be a great compliment to Victor Oladipo as well. JaMychal Green is a prototypical stretch four big that every team needs on their roster now. He is an effective shooter as he shot 40.3% from beyond the three point line this season and a good rebounder as he grabbed 6.3 rebounds a game on 21.2 minutes a game. Adding his size (6’9″/ 227lb) and scoring to the rotation could be a huge help to the Pacers bench. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes a lot of sense for the Pacers. He is a three and D player which should be an effective back-up for Oladipo and Bogdanovic. He is able to play the shooting guard and small forward so he can be used in a couple of different lineups. The Pacers could be a nice return to the Eastern conference and his ability to come off the bench, hit threes and play defense should entice the Pacers as long as he doesn’t have too high of a price.
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