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News » Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-04-27

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-04-27

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-04-27
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Mike Dunleavy finally lived up to the expectations of being the No. 3 pick in the 2002 draft. Dunleavy, who had four-plus mostly miserable years in Golden State, averaged a career high in points (19.1), field goal percentage (47.6) and three-point percentage (42.4) this season. The Pacers plan to build their team around Dunleavy and Danny Granger.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: This was supposed to be the year that Jermaine O'Neal didn't have to worry about taking a beating in the post. Coach Jim O'Brien's up-tempo offense was supposed to allow him to get single coverage in the post. Too bad none of that happened for O'Neal this season. The six-time All-Star averaged only 13.6 points a game this season. His future with the franchise is up in the air because president Larry Bird is expected to shop him for an athletic big man that can run the floor and play above the rim.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Pacers know they need to get better, but they're going to have a difficult time doing it because they don't have any salary cap space and they don't have a very enticing roster outside of Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy.

The Pacers could get some salary cap space if power forward Jermaine O'Neal opts out of the final two years of contract, but that's not going to happen because the six-time All-Star will have a difficult time getting any type of contract close to the final $44 million he's scheduled to make.

The Pacers aren't scheduled to lose any significant free agents off their roster this summer.


--G Danny Granger led the Pacers in scoring -- 19.6 points per game -- for the first time in his three-year career. Granger ended the season by scoring at least 30 points in three of the final four games.

Granger plans to spend the off-season between Indianapolis and Los Angeles, where he'll be working with the Pacers' coaching staff and a personal trainer. He needs to improve his ball-handling. Granger had a bad habit of putting his head down when he dribbles, which often led to him missing open teammates.

--F Jermaine O'Neal will likely not opt out of the final two years of his contract, which is worth $44 million. The six-time All-Star knows it's not a smart financial decision to make because he won't get that type of money on the free agent market.

O'Neal had his lowest scoring averaging (13.6) since the 2000-01 season.

The Pacers want to try to trade O'Neal, but it's going to difficult for them to get what they believe is equal value back in return because his level of play has drastically fallen off.

--G Jamaal Tinsley played the fewest games of his career this season, 39. Tinsley's future with the Pacers is limbo because he clashed with coach Jim O'Brien two months into the season, which set off a rocky relationship between the two.

Tinsley injured his left knee in the middle of December. But instead of resting his knee, the point guard continued to play on it, which caused further damage to it.

Tinsley finally decided to sit out in early February after averaging 11.9 points and 8.4 assists in 33 minutes a game. As with F Jermaine O'Neal, it's going to be difficult for the Pacers to trade Tinsley because he has a history of injury problems. The Pacers have to find a team that's willing to take a gamble on a talented, but often-injured player.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 27, 2008


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