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News » Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-28


Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-28


Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2008-05-28
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.

PLAYER NOTES:

--As expected, the Pacers picked up the team option on swingman Stephen Graham for next season. Graham was the odd man out in the Pacers' logjam at the wing position last season. He played sparingly last season, appearing in only 22 games and averaging 4.0 points. He should get an opportunity at playing time next season because Kareem Rush isn't expected back.

--Swingman Danny Granger was the honorary starter for the May 15 practice session for the Indianapolis 500. Granger also rode in the Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford.

--G Travis Diener recently underwent surgery to remove bone spurs on his left big toe Wednesday. Rehabilitation is expected to last about three months. Diener averaged 6.9 points while shooting 37 percent and having a 4.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ration in 66 games, including 21 starts, last season.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 28, 2008

 

 
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